Fire hydrant crash costs Laurel $34K

Fire hydrant crash costs Laurel $34K
Source: WDAM.

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Not only did an accident involving a fire hydrant impact water pressure for over 1,900 customers last month, the City of Laurel has been handed a $34,000 bill.

A woman crashed into the fire hydrant on Queensburg Avenue in December, which also broke the water pipe it was connected to.  That pipe was one of the  main lines that outlined the city, causing pressure issues and outages in several neighborhoods and area businesses. Since the pipe was installed in the 1970's, the United/Suez Water Department did not have the materials to turn off the valve and stop the leak.

Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee said the total costs for repairs from the accident is $34,828.23.  That includes the materials and crews, plus the transport of the new valve that came from Florida.

At the time of the incident, Magee said the city would pursue legal action if the driver had insurance to try to "re-coup the citizen's money for this catastrophe."  Magee told WDAM Thursday that driver did not have insurance.

"We're talking about doing some changes in the way you install water hydrants so it doesn't occur again," he said.

Magee said in the future, plans will be checked to make sure hydrants are not installed on top of perimeter lines with no way to cut off the water if a break were to occur.

"We're hoping we don't have to deal with this again," Magee said.

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