Two-thirds of Piedmont, MO fire hydrants not functional - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Two-thirds of Piedmont, MO fire hydrants not functional

Piedmont Fire Chief Beau Gooch said 90 fire hydrants within city limits need some type of repair. Piedmont Fire Chief Beau Gooch said 90 fire hydrants within city limits need some type of repair.
PIEDMONT, MO (KFVS) -

You might describe the fire hydrants in Piedmont, Missouri as broken, old and faulty.

According to Fire Chief Beau Gooch, nearly two thirds of the city's hydrants need some type of repair.

"Thirty of them we deemed were broke or needing repair the other 60 didn't have what we consider adequate water flow," Gooch said.

The fire department recently tested and flushed all of the city's fire hydrants.

Gooch said 90 of 142 are in rough shape.

He said that is a big problem.

"Water is a very important aspect of that and so without the water we're not going to be able to do our jobs properly," Gooch said.

Fire chiefs in cities including Marble Hill, Fredericktown, St. Genevieve and Cape Girardeau say you might come across a faulty hydrant in one of their municipalities.

However, each of the fire chiefs said they have a plan in place to service fire hydrants on a regular basis to make sure they remain fully operational.

Gooch said that has not been the case in Piedmont.

"This is something that's gone on for decades, it didn't just happen over night we're just trying to make a plan at this time to address it," Gooch said.

Gooch said money and volunteer firefighters not having enough time to do the maintenance work are the main reasons why the fire hydrants aren't up to par.

The Piedmont Fire Department and city officials say they are now working together to service the hydrants.

Gooch said the city is applying for a grant that will allow them to buy a reserve pumper.

That purchase will help them in the short run.

However, Gooch said he is looking at other funding options to fix the hydrants.

To buy and replace a single fire hydrant the cost would be about $4,500.

Piedmont residents said they are concerned about the fire hydrants not being functional.

Rebecka Hanger works at Midali on Main Street.

The fire hydrant down the street is painted black, meaning it needs to be repaired.

She said that would be a problem if the building ever caught on fire.

"If a fire were to like say happen in this building you'd have a business owner without a business, you'd have employees without a job so it wouldn't be good," Hanger said.

Gooch said he hopes to have all of the fire hydrants in tip top shape within the next few years.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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