Dubuque fire hydrant was likely stolen, missing for a month - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque fire hydrant was likely stolen, missing for a month

Posted: Updated:
  • KWWL.com LinksMore>>

  • Dubuque News

    Dubuque News

    Local news and information for Dubuque, Dyersville, Epworth, Peosta, Cascade, Farley, Asbury, Balltown, Luxemburg, New Vienna, Holy Cross, Durango, Sherrill, Dubuque County and the Tri-States area.More >>
    Local news and information for Dubuque, Dyersville, Epworth, Peosta, Cascade, Farley, Asbury, Balltown, Luxemburg, New Vienna, Holy Cross, Durango, Sherrill, Dubuque County and the Tri-States area.More >>
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Police are trying to figure out what happened to a fire hydrant in Dubuque.

It was reported missing yesterday from the corner of Asbury Road and South Way.

Police say one member of that neighborhood said it was missing for a month, but failed to report it.

Once it was reported missing, Dubuque's Water Department had it replaced in a matter of hours.

Bob Green, the water department manager, said it's certainly unusual for a hydrant to go missing.

"We believe it was a hit and run," Green said. "And then that individual or some people took it."

Green said hydrants can weigh anything from 50-200 pounds, and can be very difficult for one person to lift. 

And contrary to popular belief, a hydrant that is hit won't start shooting water everywhere.

Dubuque assistant fire marshal Mike McMahon said there is a shaft that dips more than four feet into the ground that opens the valve to allow water to flow. A hit hydrant wouldn't open that valve, he said.

There could also be serious safety issues with a hydrant out of commission for a month. What if a fire had happened nearby? 

Green says they've distributed the more than 2,000 hydrants in the city, so that if one is down, another nearby could also get the job done.

They can also be quite pricey to fix. Green said repairs or replacements of newer hydrants normally cost about $500, but some of the older models can cost up to $3,000.

Lt. Scott Baxter, public information officer for Dubuque Police, said the person or people responsible could face third-degree theft charges. They could also face hit and run charges if it's determined that's what happened.

Police are still investigating.

Powered by Frankly