PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the Philadelphia area battles summer heatwaves, residents might try just about anything to get some relief. However, some city officials are warning people anything shouldn’t include fire hydrants.
Tayon Whiting tells Eyewitness News using hydrants isn’t anything new in Hunting Park.READ MORE: National Night Out Aims To Improve Police-Community Relations During Violent Year In Philadelphia
“That’s an old Hunting Park tradition, that’s what we do when it gets too hot,” Whiting said. “We turn the fire hydrants on.”
With several pools closed across the city, many residents are resorting to the old pastime — one that might cost them a few hundred dollars.
“This summer it’s been a little more busy than usual,” Brian Rademaeker with the Philadelphia Water Department told CBS3. “We usually have 100 per month. In June, we’ve had 176 in June so far. So it is a little bit more of a problem.”READ MORE: Philadelphia Police Learning Effective, Impactful Responses For Dealing With Mental Health Cases
Using hydrants used to come from city crews themselves, but the tradition is no longer used. Rademaeker says they understand the current circumstances are difficult and almost miserable.
“That was an extraordinary year, extraordinary circumstances, and we were just trying to keep people safe when there were no pools or anything,” he says.
Hunting Park is known as one of the hottest areas in the city, and the city knows it’s a major issue; city government will issue cooling tents to about 100 city blocks to try and beat the heat. Those kits will also include 30 gallons of water and other necessities.MORE NEWS: Body Found In Northeast Philadelphia Positively Identified As Missing Woman Casey Johnston: Sources
CBS3’s Jasmine Payoute reports.