A fire hydrant in Jefferson Township was reportedly struck by a semi late Monday night/early Tuesday morning — causing a major water line incident that emptied a 300,000 gallon water tower.
According to Jefferson Township Fire and EMS Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Warner, a semi driver witnessed another semi hitting the hydrant and then driving off. The hydrant was in Jeffersonville near the US 35, I-71, and US 435 area near Destination Outlets and Travel Center of America.
“(The witness) couldn’t get any identification off of the truck. He said the truck departed on I-71. So, it was never found,” said Warner. “Ironically, about one year ago today, the same thing happened with that same hydrant, and they put cones all around it. Truck parking is at a premium everywhere. The truck stops are full, McDonald’s parking lots are full. It’s hard to maneuver around some of those places at (night). That’s just a lot of water to be wasted.”
A construction crew from Leesburg was called in by the county during the night to assist, according to Warner. Afterwards, clean-up of the area wasn’t much of an issue.
“The water itself went down storm drains and into the ditches. Now, there was a bit of gravel and sand that washed into the parking lot at McDonald’s, and I’m sure after this rain, it is probably all gone. So it really wasn’t all that bad,” he said.
As for resupplying the tower, the businesses and buildings that depend on that tower for water went without Tuesday until more water could be added. Warner explained the county told him 150 gallons could be added to the tower per minute.
So, to reach 300,000 gallons, it would take approximately 33 hours and 20 minutes; however, as people will be using the water once available again, it will take a little longer to fully refill the tower.
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.