Power lines frozen after car strikes hydrant

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Freezing temperatures led to the formation of icicles on power lines after a car smashed into a fire hydrant in a north city overnight.

The accident took place near the corner of N. Broadway and Destrehan Street in the Near North Riverfront neighborhood. It may look spectacular but there are concerns about just how dangerous it may be.

That fire hydrant became a geyser around 3:30am Monday, with water shooting high into the power lines in the minus-9 wind chill. It was so cold that what went up, didn't come down.

A car took out a fire hydrant on Broadway at Destrehan alongside the Mallinckrodt plant around 3:30am, authorities said.

A worker got the hydrant shut off but the power lines overhead are now under a heavy coat of ice and sagging under the weight.
The fencing, sidewalk, and utility poles are coated, too.

“We took pictures of it this morning because it’s not something you see every day in St. Louis,” said Julia Kenitzer, who works across the street. “I posted it and said to my friends that it’s almost Minnesota-cold here today.”

Both Mallinckrodt and Ameren report no power outages. For now, it appears the plan is to just let problem “melt” away, while advising people to keep their distance.

“Most people know that ice is really heavy because when you have an ice storm, tree branches come down. so, yeah, I wouldn’t go stand under it, no,” Kenitzer said.

Most of the ice is on the Mallinckrodt fence -- or behind it. The street department is going block off the sidewalk but all lanes of Broadway are still open. Be careful driving through the area.

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