As City of Poughkeepsie officials address the aftermath of this year's first major snowstorm, they are reminding residents that fire hydrants must remain clear and accessible in case of emergency.
They also are reminding residents to ensure garbage cans are not left on the roads after pickup, as that is a hindrance to the crews working hard to keep the roads clear.
Mayor Rob Rolison said:
Our Department of Public Works crews and emergency personnel have responded well to this storm. It was a persistent storm, one that lasted over a 24-hour period. The city streets are getting cleared, but the city needs your help
City officials are urging that when you are shoveling your driveway and sidewalk to remove the snow from around the fire hydrant common to your home or property.
Clearing the snow around the hydrant and shoveling a path to it from the street will give the Fire Department the vital access they need in emergencies.
At a fire, the fire department must quickly locate and gain a water supply source from the closest fire hydrant. A fire engine carries enough water in its tank for approximately 5 1/2 minutes of firefighting.
If a fire hydrant is buried by snow, it is difficult to find, and valuable time must be spent digging it out. City officials remind residents that under the city codes, there is a responsibility of the owner/lessee of property fronting a hydrant to maintain the area clear around the hydrant.
Failure to clear and keep clear a hydrant may result in a $100 fine or more.