Splash Sight: Fire hydrant gushes on 101

By Michael Zogg, The Triplicate June 26, 2014 02:13 pm

A blue Ford pickup truck traveling south on U.S. Highway 101 lost control and spun around, striking a fire hydrant just north of Cooper Avenue in front of Home Depot at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

The top of the fire hydrant was separated from the base, allowing water to shoot dozens of feet into the air for about 20 minutes.

The driver of the vehicle, Deedee McDonald, was visibly shaken but unharmed and refused medical attention.

According to multiple reports, McDonald was traveling south in the center lane of Highway 101 when she lost control for unknown reasons, spun 180 degrees and ran headfirst into the fire hydrant, said Crescent City Police Sgt. Erik Apperson. 

In addition to the Crescent City Police Department, Crescent Fire Protection District and Cal Fire sent personnel to the scene. Several city workers also arrived to fix the hydrant.

Public works maintenance manager Jason Wylie estimated that fire hydrants are involved in similar accidents two or three times every year.

“Each scenario is a little different,” Wylie said. “It depends on the water mains, the alignments and the valve situation. On this particular run the companion valve to isolate this hydrant was totally engulfed in water, so unfortunately we had to shut down the main.”

Wylie said they had to turn the water off for everything from the hydrant north to Harding Avenue for about 10 minutes to allow workers to get the valve closed and the hydrant replaced.

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