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Fire hydrants near local school shut down
RAVENA -- Water woes at school. There are only two working fire hydrants at the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk high school campus. Water lines that supply them failed a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, school is open and administrators say it's all right.
Not all the hydrants around the school are shut off, but most of them are. Now, the village and the district are working on a solution while standing firm that students are safe.
The hydrants are shoveled out -- but you still can't use them. Six of them are bound in bags, running dry because of a leak across the street. The Lafarge cement plant supplied a line to R-C-S years ago. Some hydrants on the campus are still working.
"We supply the domestic water to the school system and the two hydrants," said John Bruno (D-Village Mayor). "If there was a major problem we could not supply the two hydrants."
A worst-case scenario, a large fire. The two functioning water sources are near the middle school and the high school, according to the superintendent, who contacted the fire department and code enforcement to make sure everyone was on the same page. He estimates they are between 300 and 600 feet from those buildings, and says that is sufficient coverage.
"We feel very comfortable right right now operating school because we feel everybody is safe," said Dr. Alan McCartney, interim superintendent.
Even if water pressure was a problem with the hydrants supplied with village water, the mayor says old wells on the property may be tapped -- or responders could still use the plant's water source. All of that still has to be worked out.
"If something should happen, the cement company is right across the street and the trucks could go there in minutes, fill up their tanks, and come back over," Bruno said.
Fire drills are as much a part of school as homework -- and the superintendent believes if there was a fire, his students would be out of the building in a minute and a half.
"Both buildings are steel structure and cement," McCartney said. "It would have to be some astronomical issue for us to need to pump out of eight hydrants at the same time."Ravena Fire Department Chief Travis Witbeck told CBS6 the department is prepared whether the hydrants come back "tomorrow or six months from now." Witbeck said the hydrants as they are right now can handle a room fire. Three other area departments would also respond to a working fire call, should it come in.