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Contaminated Water Emergency in West Virginia: What Do You Need to Know?

Contaminated Water Emergency in West Virginia: What Do You Need to Know?

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WATER IN WEST VIRGINIA?

A company called Freedom Industries spilled a large amount of a chemical called 4-methylcyclohexane into the Elk River in South Central West Virginia. Kanawha county and the counties surrounding it, as far north as Jackson and Roane conties, as far south as Boone county and as far west as Cabell county are directly affected.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THE WATER IN WEST VIRGINIA?

The water is unsuitable for anything except flushing toilets. Do not drink, cook, bathe, brush teeth or do anything else to come into contact with this water if at all possible. Do not give it to pets or other living things. A state of emergency has been declared by the President and supplies of usable water are being brought into these counties.

WHAT IS THE CHEMICAL THAT WAS SPILLED IN THE WATER IN WEST VIRGINIA?

The chemical is called 4-methylcyclohexane. It is a solvent, a "sudsing agent" and a component of jet fuel.

 

WHERE CAN YOU GET CLEAN, USABLE WATER IN THE AFFECTED AREAS OF WEST VIRGINIA?

Kanawha county locations include: Riverside High, Elkview Shopping Center, South Charleston Community Center. You can also obtain water at:

Saint Andrew United Methodist Church

815 Kanawha Terrace

St. Albans, W.Va.

Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home

409 6th Avenue St. Albans, W.Va.

304-727-4325

Emergencies only until Friday morning - Opens at 7 a.m.

Chapman Funeral Home

3941 Teays Valley Road

Hurricane, W.Va.

304-757-7531

Emergencies only until Friday morning - Opens at 7 a.m.

Saint Marks Episcopal Church

405 B Street

Saint Albans, W.Va.

Will open at 7 a.m. Friday.

West Hamlin Volunteer Fire Dept.

121 Guyan Street

West Hamlin W.Va.

Please bring your own container.

Hamlin Volunteer Fire Department

8049 Vine Ave.

Hamlin, W.Va.

They are giving out one case of water to each household that comes to their station. Each household must show that they live in one of the affected areas.

Lincoln Co. 911 Call Center

911 Marconi Dr.

West Hamlin, W.Va.

This center is being operated by the National Guard.

Boone County 911 Center

1267 Smoot Ave.

Danville, W.Va.

This center is being operated by the National Guard.

Wharton-Barrett Volunteer Fire Department

35279 Pond Fork Rd.

Wharton, W.Va.

Crossing Baptist Church

2031 Harrison Avenue

Saint Albans, W.Va.

West Virginia Division of Highways HQ

Route 60 and Walnut Street

Saint Albans, W.Va.

Please bring you own container.

Culloden Volunteer Fire Department

2102 3rd St.

Culloden, W.Va.

HOW LONG WILL THE WATER BE CONTAMINATED IN WEST VIRGINIA?

At this point, that is not known as the extent of the spill is not known. The company spilling the material into the Elk Rive may have failed to notify the proper authorities of the spill when it started, making it difficult to calculate how much water has been contaminated, with how much 4-methylcyclohexane.

WHEN WILL IT BE SAFE TO DRINK THE WATER IN THE WEST VIRGINIA COUNTIES AFFECTED BY THE FREEDOM INDUSTRIES CHEMICAL SPILL?

Again, this is not known, but all affected residents should wait until clearance is given before using any of the water from the affected systems for anything other than flushing toilets. The water is not safe to drink or cook with or bathe in or brush teeth with.

Further information is available at these links:

 

WVPublic.org's list of places to obtain usable water in West Virginia:  http://wvpublic.org/post/where-find-water-list-distribution-centers

Further coverage of the West Virginia water disaster:

Chemical Leak Causes Water Emergency In West Virginia by MARK MEMMOTT January 10, 2014 7:00 AM http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/01/10/261282459/chemical-leak-causes-water-emergency-in-west-virginia

By ASHLEY SOUTHALL and TIMOTHY WILLIAMS, JAN. 10, 2014 Chemical Spill Leaves Thousands Without Water in West Virginia http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/11/us/west-virginia-chemical-spill.html

 

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