Open St. Louis hydrants frustrate water and fire officials

Thursday, June 25, 2009 | 11:07 a.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Even in this era of air conditioning, kids in many St. Louis neighborhoods still like to open fire hydrants for relief from the summer heat.

To them, it's summer fun. To some, it's a hot-weather tradition. But to city water and fire officials, it can be cause for concern.

Water Division foreman Dennis Tullock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he sometimes gets cursed or even has rocks thrown at him when he shows up to turn off the spray. Firefighters are also frustrated because the sledgehammers often used to open the hydrants can damage them.

With temperatures soaring well into the 90s, crews have been busy closing hydrants — almost 50 on Monday, 97 on Tuesday.


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