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Eyewitness News Viewers Sound Off About Do-Not-Use-Water Advisory

Reported: Jan. 10, 2014 7:13 AM EST
Updated: Jan. 10, 2014 7:19 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- The chemical leak that led to a do-not-use-water advisory in eight counties and a portion of another has prompted a wave of comments on the Eyewitness News Facebook page.

People are concerned and in many cases angry over the situation that caused West Virginia American Water to issue an advisory affecting Kanawha, Boone, Putnam, Lincoln, Logan, Clay, Roane and Jackson counties and the Culloden area of Cabell County.

“Boy, this boils my blood,” Robbye Olive said. “I woke up this morning to take the dogs out at 7:30 a.m. and smelled a very powerful and strong chemical smell, even called my husband at work to tell him. I am so mad that there was never any warning and that we just happened to watch the news tonight and found out. I have drunk it, used it and gave it to my three dogs all day.”

Jamey Wilson directed her anger at the water company.

“Where are you at West Virginia American Water? I have an infant child – bathing, drinking water, etc. Why would you not call your customers and do something besides try to hide the fact for almost a full day? And how long is until further notice? The stores are already insane and out of water. So really, what now? Pitiful,” Wilson said.

Antonia L. Vaughan shared her sentiments.

“I am not happy with the lack of action on the part of West Virginia American Water Co.,” Vaughan said. “Why wasn’t there an automated phone alert system? An alert on the news, three hours after my family and I have been drinking water is not acceptable.”

Meanwhile, Katrina Whitten Taylor spoke up as a concerned mother.

“Cooked already,” Taylor said. “Hope they pay for my medical bill if me or my kids get sick.”

David Hudson called for people to stay calm.

“Lol at people who don’t listen, can’t read, being so upset and also freaking out because their normal routine is being ruined,” Hudson said. “Calm down. They said they had no idea what it was that had been leaked into the water and had just found out a couple of hours ago that it had actually already passed through their feeder systems.

“The chemical isn’t toxic, but could be if you happened to consume very large quantities. WVAM (West Virginia American Water) is just being very cautious about it by warning you not to use it until further notice, and the governor has issued a state of emergency due to the thousands of customers who are affected. If you happen to start feeling symptoms of sickness, go to the hospital – common sense.”


David Swimm also said people should take a step back.

“Some of you remind me of extras in a movie. You know, the ones who run frantically around and start screaming,” Swimm said. “Calm down and don’t use the water. If you don’t feel sick, you’ll be fine.”

It is clear, however, that many people such as Beck Ann Thompson are looking for answers.

“What is going to happen to us? We have already drunk the water, bathed and did laundry. Even our pets have drunk the water,” Thompson said.

Misty Nicole White said people saying not to “freak out” should realize that children could have been affected.

“I for one have four kids, three of whom ate, showered, brushed teeth, etc. I washed my high-risk, 5-month-old daughter’s bottles. So, yeah, I was scared,” White said. “People have a right to worry. God only knows how long it has been leaking slowly. No, people shouldn’t act like it’s the apocalypse, but saying not to worry is a bit ignorant.”

From many of the comments, it is clear that there is a lot of anger. Brad Watts said he is “absolutely infuriated.”

“How many times has this happened in the past few months, and how many times have they done an absolutely horrible job at informing the public? I didn’t even hear about this all day until I came home, took a shower and then got online,” Watts said.

But some people such as Ashley Fertig came to the defense of the water company.

“It’s not the water company’s fault,” Fertig said. “They are way more upset about this than most. They have to deal with this mess that they didn’t cause and clean it all up. They are working all night and expected to be there bright and early tomorrow to help FEMA deliver water to residents. They need to be thanked, not criticized.”

Eyewitness News wants to hear and share more of your comments. To join in on the conversation, visit our Facebook page.

-Photo taken Friday morning at the CVS in Kanawha City. Courtesy reporter Taisha Walker.



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