Rhodell Volunteer Fire Department operates with broken fire hydrants

RHODELL, WV (WOAY) – Rhodell Volunteer Fire Department is asking city officials to repair over a dozen broken fire hydrants located throughout the town. 

Rhodell Volunteer Fire Department has spent the last decade recusing residents with limited water resources. Currently, water only comes out of two of eighteen fire hydrants throughout the town.  Michael Holshouser, Coordinator for Rhodell Volunteer Fire Department said it all started 12 years ago when the town of Rhodell dissolved. 

“We have been dealing with this problem for several years. Formerly the water works here in Rhodell was owned by the Rhodell Water Works when the town dissolved it became property of the Raleigh County PSD,” Holshouser said. 

Michael says there is only one main fire hydrant they can use, which has made his job extremely difficult. Without the water supply from the hydrant, Rhodell Volunteer Fire Department is forced to use a tanker that was provided by FEMA. 

“We can’t carry enough hoes to stretch all through town with this one hydrant to put a fire out. Without the water we have to have that tanker or we have a pump that we can go into the creek with. When the creek is low you can’t get the pump in the creek and the neighboring departments have to come in and shuttle water,” Holshouser said.   

Michael says Raleigh County PSD is responsible for repairing the fire hydrants, but no one from the division has looked into the problem.

“I contacted the DOH. They act like it’s no big deal. They are not interested in helping fix it. We just been neglected here,” Holshouser said. 

The 2020 Census showed over 300 residents are affected by the out of commission fire hydrants.