Monday, July 17, 2006

The Heat

It was hot here today -- it reached 90 before 11am. I found some advice on staying cool from New York's Office of Emergency Management (via Gothamist, including this on opening fire hydrants, which I assumed was illegal:
Opening fire hydrants without spray caps is wasteful and dangerous. Illegally opened hydrants can lower water pressure, which can cause problems at hospitals and other medical facilities and hinder fire-fighting by reducing the flow of water to hoses and pumps. Children can also be at serious risk, because the powerful force of an open hydrant without a spray cap can push them into oncoming traffic. Call 311 to report an open hydrant.

Hydrants can be opened legally if equipped with a City-approved spray cap. One illegally opened hydrant wastes up to 1,000 gallons of water per minute, while a hydrant with a spray cap only puts out around 25 gallons per minute. Spray caps can be obtained by an adult 18 or over, free of charge, at local firehouses.
I remember finding a fire hydrant wrench in my neighborhood in St. Paul when I was growing up. The big red box-end wrench was shaped to fit the pentagon-shaped hydrant valves. I don't think we ever used it, but it was exciting to think that we could.

The OEM's brochure, "Ready New York: Beat the Heat Guide" can be downloaded in English, Korean, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.

It was 94 when I left work, but it wasn't that bad. Even in the subway station, which is usually the worst. It just wasn't that humid today. Still, it felt like an oven outside. But not like it must have been in Minnesota.


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