Piles of snow covering some fire hydrants in St. Louis area

Missouri

WENTZVILLE, Mo. – When plows roll through a neighborhood, all that snow must go somewhere. The Wentzville Fire Protection District is encouraging residents to make sure snow is not covering fire hydrants in their neighborhood.

“It’s a matter of life and death,” said Wentzville resident Erich Topp.

Topp noticed a snow pile from plows in his neighborhood left a fire hydrant difficult to spot. He shoveled away after realizing there was a potential hazard.

“I’ve been with the fire district for 35 years and I’ve dug out many a hydrant,” Wentzville Fire Department Deputy Chief Michael Scott said.

He said in addition to being a lifesaver, a hydrant can also turn into a geyser if a snowplow makes a wide turn through a cul-de-sac and strikes one.

“You get a lot of ice quick and we just don’t want that to happen,” Scott said.

Wentzville recently turned to GPS technology to help identify hydrant locations but that only pinpoints spots within approximately 20 feet.

“Searching 20 feet of a snowbank takes a lot of time,” Scott said. “The minutes it takes to dig out a hydrant, your house is burning down; someone’s life is in jeopardy.”

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