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      Snow-covered hydrants may cause difficulties for firefighters

      Although the snow is well out of our area, emergency responders are dealing with another problem--snow-covered fire hydrants.

      This comes after nearly a foot of snow was dumped across our viewing area early this week. Firefighters in Queen City tell us, they have more than 80 hydrants in the city alone, and many are nearly hidden underneath the snow causing potential problems.

      Carl Snider, Queen City Fire Chief said the first few minutes of a fire are very important.

      "You could really be in a big hurt for time if you've go four to five personnel show up on the scene and three of them have to be digging a hydrant out to supply water. That's three more people that should be fighting the fire, that can't be," Snider said.

      He says fire trucks normally carry 500-1,000 gallons of water, equaling 5-10 minutes of fire fighting time. If hydrants are covered, it may take that long to dig the hydrant out.

      Snider recommends residents shovel around the hydrants, possibly helping themselves or neighbors if a fire were to break out.