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Officials encourage residents to shovel around fire hydrants

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Officials encourage residents to shovel around fire hydrants
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ELMIRA, N.Y. -- Chemung County leaders are urging all residents to shovel out fire hydrants on the sidewalks.

This week's snow storm has been the largest we've seen in a while and many hydrants are covered with heavy snow and ice from the plow trucks. The clearing needs to be about three feet, so if a fire emergency arises, firefighters can do their job efficiently.

"It really slows down operations if we have to shovel out hydrants so we can get on it in case of a fire. Very often we have to get a shovel off of the truck, dig the thing out," said Michael Smith, Chemung County Fire and Emergency Management Director.

Smith says residents should do it soon so the snow doesn't get any heavier after sitting through cold nights.

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