A broken fire hydrant that residents say poured out water for days was finally fixed on Saturday, according to the Philadelphia Water Department.
Water began spewing out of the open plug on the 4500 block of North 12th Street in the Hunting Park section of the city on Wednesday, according to residents who live on the block. Residents say the problem continued for days even though they made dozens of calls to the city to have the problem fixed.
“We had a fire over there. The fire company broke the [hydrant] and they said they were gonna call the city and they never came out. And there’s been gallons and gallons of water coming out of here,” said Vincent Mathews who lives across the street from the fire plug.
But Mathews says no one came. With water flooding the street and concerns about ice amid the freezing temperatures, he and his neighbors began to make dozens of calls to the Philadelphia Water Department. Each time, they were told someone would come out to take care of it, but the water kept on flowing.
“They’re saying they know about it, they’re sending a crew out to address the problem. That’s been since Wednesday,” said Brenda May, who says she’s made five calls herself.
The Philadelphia Fire Department confirmed crews responded to a fire on the block Wednesday night and that there was a problem with one of the fire hydrants. But, fire officials could not say whether fire crews broke the hydrant or if the water department was notified.
“We’re really sad. It’s a sad situation, because any other neighborhood they would rush in,” said Mathews. “We’re very forgotten. There’s no reason for this.”
NBC10 also made calls to city departments over the past two days.
Our first call was to the Philadelphia Fire Department on Thursday. A fire department employee said someone would be sent out to take care of the issue. But with the problem still persisting on Friday, NBC10 again called fire officials. With that second call, another staffer said it was the Philadelphia Water Department who needed to fix the problem.
A water department employee told NBC10 that they would add the hydrant to their list. Early Saturday afternoon, a spokesperson confirmed that the hydrant was fixed.
Water department spokeswoman Laura Copeland said on Friday night that the recent extreme cold and snow increased the amount of emergency repair responses.