Pipe blockage at Ionia County Jail possibly caused by inmate

IONIA, Mich. -- The Ionia County Jail had a messy situation Thursday after the sewer pipes began backing up into the facility.

The sheriff's office says it doesn't look like frozen pipes caused the problem. Instead, they believe an inmate likely caused it by flushing something down the toilet.  However, at this time, they're not sure what may have been flushed.

Officials learned of the problem around 10 a.m. Thursday after water started flooding onto the floor of a section of the jail.

The sheriff's office had to call in a special company to relieve the blockage and had to ship some of their 130 inmates to another facility during cleanup efforts.

"We also had to call in the Michigan Department of Corrections to bring in a bus so we could transport some female inmates to Montcalm County," says Ionia County Undersheriff Charlie Noll. "We were gracious they did that for us to alleviate some space so we could move the male inmates to different pods and get things serviced."​

The Ionia County Sheriff's Office expected to have everything back to normal by Friday.

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