PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – After the Sunday morning fire that saw the historic St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club engulfed in flames, residents were scratching their heads at an unused fire hydrant sitting right across the street from the establishment.
Fire officials say they knew the fire hydrant was out-of-order and used a hydrant just down the road.
“There was a slight delay in obtaining that water just because of the distance, but they were able to obtain it. There was a minimal interruption in firefighting at the initial stages, but only for a few seconds, and throughout the entire incident, we had no water issues,” said Panama City Fire Chief David Collier.
The hydrant is one of 100 that are deemed inoperable around the city.
City officials have been aware of the area’s infrastructure issues for years.
They obtained over $100 million in State Revolving Funds (SRF) to address the water issues and currently have 4 projects underway. These projects were recently promoted on the City’s Facebook page after the fires.
The projects include new water lines, lift stations, and hydrants on Cherry St., parts of Bunker’s Cove, Harrison Ave., and 7th St., and are adding a new, larger water line under the Tarpon Dock Bridge.