West Virginia Chemical Spill: State Of Emergency Across Nine Counties

A West Virginia chemical spill has caused a lot of frustration and inconvenience for more than 300,000 residents who have been without tap water for an unthinkable three days.

Water is so scarce that local residents are having to buy bottled water for those who are unable to do so. Chris Laws from Marmet bought two bottles of mineral water for two of his elderly neighbors on Saturday.

Laws said: “They can’t get out. I’m keeping an eye on them. You got to watch out for your neighbors. They’re the ones who are going to watch out for you.”

He spoke about how frustrated he and other residents are about the chemical leak from Freedom Industries which has led to this crisis:

“A lot of people are facing bad situations because of this. They’re struggling. What I don’t understand is how did this happen?” He asked.

On Thursday the West Virginia American Water Authority received a flurry of complaints about a licorice-type odor in the water coming from the taps of residential homes.

The reason for this was a 40,000-gallon tank of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, which leaked into the Elk River. Officials estimate that around 7,500 gallons of the poisonous chemical leaked into the river, with an unspecified amount entering the drinking water system.

Bill Rogers, a resident affected by the West Virginia chemical spill, told reporters about how frustrated he was by the situation:

“I haven’t been able to cook anything at home and was hoping they were open. It seems like every place is closed. It’s frustrating. Really frustrating.”

Matt Ballard, the president of the Charleston Area Alliance, spoke about how the chemical spill has affected local business:

“I don’t know that it can be quantified at this point because we don’t know how long it will last,” Ballard said. “I’m hoping a solution by early next week so business can get back to normal.”

It remains to be seen how long it will take for the water supply to return to normal following the West Virginia chemical spill. It also remains to be seen what was the cause of the spill, and who will be held responsible for its consequences.