This is probably the only nice afternoon will have this week. So it’s a good time to break out your shovels, and become a hydrant hero.
A lot of people are concerned about the hydrants buried in snowbanks around town. Some readers have posted comments asking how the Town will handle it.
Now Scouts in town are being asked to suit up (snowsuit that is) and help the town dig out. And they’ve been given tips and tools to locate missing hydrants.
That doesn’t mean you have to be a scout to pitch in.
Southborough’s Teen CERT volunteers already did some hydrant clearing earlier this month. And many residents have dutifully taken up shovels to clear hydrants on their streets. But the snow may have been too much of a challenge for some hydrant abutters. And some snowbirds have fled the brutal cold.
By the time some people looked around their neighborhoods, even the hydrant flags were buried. The good news is, they don’t have to be lost until the thaw.
If your neighborhood hydrant has disappeared, here is how to locate it. First, you can check these maps approximating locations. Next, (according to a Pack 1 Cub Scout communication):
There are two additional ways you can identify hydrants buried in the snow. The first is to look for the hydrant marker/flag. This is usually a steel or plastic pole attached to the fire hydrant that sticks up 2-4 feet above the fire hydrant. Many of them have a reflective panel or striping on the pole.
The second way is to look for a reflective collar that goes all the way around on a telephone/utility pole about 10 feet off the ground. These collars are usually white, orange, blue or green and have a number and sometimes an arrow pointing toward where the fire hydrant is located.
The number indicates the distance in feet from the utility pole to the fire hydrant and has either an arrow pointing what direction the hydrant is or the number is facing towards the hydrant itself. Do not confuse these with metal or plastic utility tags that are the actual number of the pole. (See attached sheet for examples of markers).
Some tips included wearing light/reflective clothing, working in daylight, and bringing steel shovels to break through ice.
Any scouts who dig out hydrants are encouraged to post their accomplishments on the challenge website, here.
In the meantime, perhaps we can help out those who want to help.
If you have a hydrant fully or partially buried on your street, but aren’t physically capable of digging it out yourself, you can post a comment. If someone reads the tip and adopts the hydrant, they can post a reply. Or if you see someone has done the work, you can reply with a new comment (and thanks.)