YONKERS, N.Y. – Yonkers firefighters have had to get creative as they look for ways to deal with a water service interruptions in parts of the city.
After a major water main break Monday, water pressure dropped in parts of southwest Yonkers, leaving many hydrants unable to pump out enough water should there be a fire. Officials said Tuesday there is no script for events like this.
“When we run into something like this there is nothing in our books,” Fire Chief Marc Iannucci said. “We try to make do with what we have and the people we have.”
After a short brainstorming session between city and fire brass, firefighters began pumping water from a Bronx hydrant system into Yonkers' system in an effort to stabilize the water pressure. On Tuesday evening, a fire truck remained in the area of 537 Riverdale Ave., near the Bronx border, monitoring the transfer.
Yonkers firefighters also created an on-the-go mobile water delivery system for emergencies and have been helping bring water to various places in need, including St. Joseph’s Medical Center.
In addition, crews improvised a system using fire engines and large hoses that would allow water to be pumped from up to two miles away if necessary.
Thankfully, the city’s makeshift emergency system hasn’t been put to the test, officials said.
“Together with this old fashioned ingenuity and good luck we’re hoping to get past this emergency,” said Barry McGoey, president of Yonkers Firefighters Local 628.
But in case of a problem, Yonkers had a seldom-used fireboat on standby that is capable of pumping more than 2,000 gallons of water per minute from the river, Fire Chief John Flynn said Monday.
Flynn also said the New York City Fire Department has offered to send its fireboats to Yonkers in the case of an emergency. In addition, New York City has volunteered a task force that is on call to stretch supply hoses from the Bronx into Yonkers should any emergencies arise while the water system is down.
Yonkers officials said Tuesday that their neighbors to the south have been a “shining star” while the city deals with its crisis.
“I think it’s fair to say it was a good partnership,” Mayor Mike Spano said.