WEST VIRGINIA STATE OF EMERGENCY
WATER BAN FOR 300,000 IN 9 COUNTIES
Do not drink, use or touch water. Toilet flushing only.
1/10/14 - 18:30
Nine counties in west virginia have come under
don't consume, don't touch water advisories.
Due to a chemical spill in the Elk river,
one hundred thousand customers or three
hundred thousand people have been advised not to touch
or drink the water from their taps.
Exposure to the chemical, 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM), can result in severe burning in throat, severe eye irritation, non-stop vomiting, trouble breathing or severe skin irritation such as skin blistering.
The white house today issued a state of emergency
order for the area, FEMA has shipped one million litres so far
to the affected areas. Stores and restaurants have already
run out of water and the shelves are bare of bottled water
at this time.
Though the spill occurred Thursday morning, West Virginia American Water didnít provide its customers with a warning until evening.
1/10/14 - 19:20
Boil water advisories have been issued by West Virginia American Water for several area communities due to low tank levels and/or broken pipes. These advisories are unrelated to the 'do not use' order issued in nine West Virginia counties due to a chemical leak.
1/10/14 - 19:15
In Cabell County ONLY West Virginia American Water customers in Culloden are affected by this water emergency. Huntington, Guyandotte, Lesage, Barboursville, Ona, Milton and Salt Rock areas are NOT affected.
1/10/14 - 20:50
EXCERPT OF WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING
JANUARY 10, 2014 - 13:17 EST
BY PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
Q. - Jay, can you tell us what the President learned and when he learned about the chemical spill in West Virginia, and the level of the White House activity monitoring that over the weekend?
MR. CARNEY: The President is aware -- I don't have a specific time, but he was made aware and he approved the emergency declaration that was done last night. He asked his team --
Q - That was pretty swift.
MR. CARNEY: It was very swift. This is obviously a serious incident. He asked his team to monitor the situation and provide necessary assistance. Secretary Johnson, DHS Secretary, spoke to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin this morning about this matter. And I have information from FEMA about what they are doing in terms of working through its regional office in Philadelphia, in close coordination with the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to support state and local efforts to ensure public safety and health in response to the emergency conditions resulting from that chemical spill in Charleston on Thursday.
Q - Does this appear manageable for public health?
MR. CARNEY: I would refer you to FEMA for specifics about the conditions and the spill and the health -- the public safety aspect of it. But obviously, the emergency declaration reflects that it's an emergency situation.
1/12/14 - 16:30
According to FEMA spokesperson, Peter Herrick, 1.4 million litres of water were trucked into West Virginia between 8:00 pm last night and early this morning. They are brought in from two facilities in Maryland which serve as staging areas.
"The trucks are delivered to a National Guard's base in Charleston, where they are turned over to the state who distributes it to the people," said Herrick.
"West Virginia has a great distribution plan. They have people in DC and Philly coordinating their efforts. These commodities are bought throughout the year and stored in centres, so that when something happens such as this, they are ready," he said.
FEMA does not get involved unless the President declares an Emergency. Until then, the state is responsible to take care of matters. In this case, the incident occurred Thursday night and President Obama signed the Emergency Declaration on Friday morning.
"There is very little data on 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol known as MCHM, CAS Number 34885-03-5," Dr. Elizabeth Scharman, West Virginia Poison Control Centre, told the Water Chonicles.
"One of the problems is that it's not regulated by the Department
of Transport," she said. "A dose is not highly toxic compared to other chemical compounds. It is mostly an irritant."
According to Dr. Scharman, the ban will not be lifted until toxic experts determine the acceptable dilution ratio.
"Everything else is merely conjecture."
Since around 6 p.m. Thursday, Dr. Scharman said the center had received 787 calls from people reporting symptoms including dizziness, headaches, rashes and vomiting, and 233 people seeking more information about the chemical that contaminated the water system.
WEST VIRGINIA STATE BEGINS TO LIFT WATER BAN
1/13/14 - 13:30
After a gruelling 5 days of being on a strict do not use water ban, parts of West Virginia are being told they can start to use their tap water. Governor Earl Tomblin made the announcement to the public. The process of lifting the ban is being done in a methodical manner so as not to overburden the water system with sudden high demand. Residents of Downtown Charleston were told that they could being to use tap water. Tests on the water in the area have shown great improvements with water showing levels of contaimination decreasing to below one part per million of the coal-processing chemical.
For information on Water Distribution sites: http://www.governor.wv.gov/Pages/State-of-Emergency.aspx
For on-the-go information on the water ban lifting: https://twitter.com/GovTomblin
Click on map for update
The tiny Blue area at the centre of this map published by WV American Water represents the region where the water ban has been lifted. This information is being posted on The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency's twitter feed According to one tweet, posted 5 ours ago,
Showers: the Wave Pool Bath House at the Valley Park in Hurricane will be open from 8a-8p for showers