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Snow Buried Fire Hydrants Raise Concerns

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As the snow piles keep growing so are the concerns of area fire fighters when it comes to keeping fire hydrants clear.

Fire hydrants are starting to get buried under mounds of snow.

And that's cause for concerns for 27–year–old April Hensel.

Hensel, a volunteer firefighter spent four hours of her own time one day clearing snow around hydrants.

April Hensel, Southbend township volunteer firefighter says, "I went out just around from block to block to see if there were any hydrants that needed to be cleared out and I cleared them out."

And now all she wants is for those in the community to be aware that those precious moments the fire department has to spend on chopping ice could be spent on hooking up a hose.

Hensel says, "Take the extra 15 minutes to shovel around the fire hydrant and that would make less work for us volunteers when there is a house fire or any fire scene."

Those at the Mankato Department of Public Safety applaud Hensel's efforts and say easy access to the hydrants is very important.

 Sean Hayes, Mankato Public Safety lieutenant says, "We ask the community to adopt a fire hydrant and what we mean by that is just find a hydrant whether it's in your neighborhood, whether it's by where you work or a fire hydrant you have seen on your way to work and if it's got snow on it; we just ask that you get out there and help a little bit. Get out there and shovel and clear it off."

Although Hensel hopes to see more people digging out fire hydrants, she says she will keep driving around with a shovel in her car.

Hensel says, "As I see them, I will clear them out."

According to the Mankato department of public safety they like to see 36 inches of clearance around big red life savers such as this one.