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Clearing hydrants of snow, ice a full-time job

With a lot of snow down in the St. John’s metro area, snowclearing crews are working around the clock to get streets and sidewalks opened up again. Crews also have to make sure the 3,200 fire hydrants in the city are clear in the event one is needed by firefighters. Monday morning, City of St. John’s environmental services operator employee Paul Winsor was shovelling out a fire hydrant on Cumberland Crescent. Because of the number of hydrants that must be cleared, the city and the St. John’s Regional Fire Department are hoping residents can lend a hand — when possible — and clear out a hydrant near their residences.
With a lot of snow down in the St. John’s metro area, snowclearing crews are working around the clock to get streets and sidewalks opened up again. Crews also have to make sure the 3,200 fire hydrants in the city are clear in the event one is needed by firefighters. Monday morning, City of St. John’s environmental services operator employee Paul Winsor was shovelling out a fire hydrant on Cumberland Crescent. Because of the number of hydrants that must be cleared, the city and the St. John’s Regional Fire Department are hoping residents can lend a hand — when possible — and clear out a hydrant near their residences. - Joe Gibbons

St. John’s residents who are able are encouraged to lend a hand

A recent rash of mixed weather has left many of the city’s 3,200 fire hydrants covered in snow and ice, and the city and fire department are asking residents to help shovel them out.
“The city and the St. John’s Regional Fire Department appreciate the public’s help to keep hydrants clear near their property following a storm. By working together, we can help keep our neighborhoods safe. Once the snowplows finish widening roads following a snow event, the city begins the process to clear all hydrants,’’ Coun. Ian Froude, lead for the public works department, said Monday afternoon.
“The city has over 3,200 hydrants and it typically takes five to seven working days to clear the snow from all the hydrants.”
Normally, according to St. John’s Regional Fire Department Capt. Mike Maher, clearing snow from hydrants is done by City of St. John’s maintenance crews.
“With that, if possible, we would encourage residents to try and clear a hydrant near their homes,’’ Maher said Monday.
“If they can clean them, that is great, as it makes it safer for them and others in the neighbourhood. So I would say if they can clear them, go for it.’’
Maher sad that based on the high number of hydrants in the city, keeping them all clear is an issue, as crews are already taxed.

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