Snow-covered fire hydrants create extra work for city crews
The snow that's fallen on Thunder Bay this winter has left some fire hydrants hard to see — and that's a potential problem for firefighters.
The city's sewer and water department is working to uncover hidden hydrants this week, said supervisor David Warwick.
"We will have equipment … go out and do the rest of the snow removal, in an orderly fashion. Obviously, we can't get 'em all done in one day, but we'll pick away at them the best we can,” he said.
"We typically try and wait till at least the plowing is done, so we're not going out and doing them twice. So, usually a couple of days after the storm is done, then we'll start concentrating our work on getting them opened up."
Backhoes or loaders and dump trucks are used in the clearing operation.
Thunder Bay Fire Rescue chief John Hay said there have been no recent problems caused by snow-covered fire hydrants. He said it's a "rare" issue.
Hay added crews have detailed maps pinpointing the locations of all hydrants in the city. Tall, orange poles mounted to hydrants can also help firefighters locate them.
“Access to fire hydrants and sufficient water for fire suppression is key, but we do carry a lot of water on our trucks,” he said.
Fire and Rescue also has "accurate dispatch information about where the fire hydrants are."
Warwick said hydrants are usually checked every couple of weeks or so, as the city has a mandate to keep the hydrants clear and accessible.