Northwest NEWS

December 18, 2000

Front Page

Fire hydrants on Mt. View Road vandalized

by Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor
   DUVALL- Five fire hydrants on Mountain View Road have been opened by vandals recently and left running for several hours.
   According to Water District 119 officials, the vandalism caused water pressure in the area to drop, leaving some residents without water for some time.
   "If there had been a house fire then, the fire department wouldn't have been able to fight it," said district commissioner Jeff Popp. "The system takes a while to recharge."
   Popp said there were two incidents in the last month, adding that in one instance, gravel was placed inside the hydrant.
   The King County Sheriff's Office is investigating, he said.
   "It appears that the vandals live locally," he said. "When the fire department was called to turn one hydrant off, and went on ahead to deal with another one, when they came back, the first one had been turned back on."
   He said damage can occur to the hydrants when they are opened and closed improperly. The water from the hydrants can also cause road damage.
   "If these people are caught, they could be charged with a Class I misdemeanor, but it could also go up into the felony range if it affects public safety," he said. "We are willing to prosecute. Triple damages can also result and there could be charges for defrauding a public utility or malicious mischief in the 1st degree, which is a Class B felony."