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Snow Starting To Bury Fire Hydrants

January 13, 2011, 6:10 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Snow Starting To Bury Fire Hydrants
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The snow is piling up and that means its starting to surround fire hydrants. Homeowners are being reminded they need to clear them so firefighters don't have to spend precious minutes shoveling out hidden hydrants.

One snowfall at a time the hydrants are disappearing around Sioux Falls and officials say they are starting to hear about it.

"We've had calls with concerned citizens on what they should do with hydrants that aren't cleared and those that they see that aren't cleared," Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Jeff Helm said.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue recommends homeowners clear the snow away from the fire hydrants near their property. But some in the city are getting buried and don't have homes nearby. Sioux Falls fire officials say if they're alerted to those, they'll try shovel them out themselves.

"If we have time we'll try to send a crew out to clear out those troubled hydrants, but obviously they have other responsibilities and can't go to every fire hydrant to clear it out," Helm said.

And, if that's the case they ask people who live or work in the area to help out and pick up a shovel because if there is a fire in the neighborhood, it can take firefighters longer to respond if they have to do it themselves.
"Just be a good neighbor, be a good resident, be a good citizen, keep your hydrant clear of snow and then if there's an emergency in that area it makes our response time quicker for getting the fire put out," Helm said.

Fire officials say there is no city ordinance or regulations that requires property owners to shovel out the fire hydrants on their property. It's simply a courtesy to the neighborhood to clear it three feet around and to the ground.

We're asking on our KELOLAND Facebook page whether you've noticed buried fire hydrants in your neighborhood. Just 'Like' the page and share what you're seeing around town.

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