WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Officials Say Numbers Trending Right Direction On Water Crisis; No Timetable Given On Restoration

Reported: Jan. 11, 2014 3:59 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 13, 2014 4:12 AM EST
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin thanked West Virginians Saturday for their patience in dealing with the water crisis.

While no specific timetable was given, Tomblin said things are trending in the right direction to restore service to West Virginia American Water customers.

Tomblin said the state has made much progress in the past 51 hours, but it was not time to give an all clear to begin the process of flushing water systems, which could take several days.

No specific timetable was given on when flushing will begin.

Customers in Boone, Kanawha, Lincoln, Putnam, Jackson, Clay, Logan, and Roane counties are told not water is not to be for drinking, washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning or bathing. Water should only be used for flushing toilets or for extinguishing fires.

Col. Greg Grant with the National Guard said readings of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol in the water are now going below threshold of 1.0 part per million, the amount set by the Center For Disease Control as acceptable, but the readings were not consistently at that level, which is key to begin flushing.

“The numbers are turning in the right direction,” Grant said, though he added that there are still spikes of the chemical showing up in readings.

Major Gen. James A Hoyer with the National Guard said they hope to run more than 100 samples Sunday and will provide them to the water company and the governor.

Tomblin said the spill was unacceptable and must be cleaned up immediately.

Mike Dorsey with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said Freedom Industries is the responsible party in the crisis and will be tasked with leading the clean-up of the spill site at the company’s location on the Elk River in Charleston.

West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre said that when the time comes to begin flushing the system, customers will be notified on methods to safely clear out hot water tanks and indoor plumbing.

No word was given on the status of schools for the region for the next week.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jimmy Gianto said they are in touch with superintendents and announcements will be made Sunday.

Five people have been hospitalized and 73 have showed up at emergency rooms complaining of problems that may be linked to the licorice-smelling pollutant.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Heath Harrison, Bob Aaron) -- Officials with West Virginia American Water said at a news conference Saturday that it will take many days until water is useable in nine counties affected by a chemical spill at its Elk River treatment facility.

Mike Dorsey with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said about 7,500 gallons of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol leaked into the Elk River from a 35,000 gallon storage tank upstream from the treatment facility.

The DEP had previously estimated the worst case scenario to be a 5,000 gallon leak.

Dorsey said material has stopped leaking from the tank, but could still be leeching into the river from the soil.

West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre said that the water plant must produce safe, consistent testing showing levels suitable for consumption before the system could be flushed and the do not use advisory could be lifted. Flushing of the system could take several days.

McIntyre said water customers unable to do anything but flush with their water will get a free 1,000 gallons of water knocked off their water bill.

The chemical is still showing too high of levels in the water at the water treatment plant on the Elk River, Mcintyre said.

Customers in Boone, Kanawha, Lincoln, Putnam, Jackson, Clay, Logan, and Roane counties are told not water is not to be for drinking, washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning or bathing. Water should only be used for flushing toilets or for extinguishing fires.

Dorsey said he is confident the leak started Thursday because of the presence of a strong odor. He said the presence of the chemical's odor does not pose a health risk.

The DEP said a one inch hole in the storage tank created the water crisis. Dorsey said the chemical has made its way to the Ohio River, but claims it is so diluted, it does not pose a health threat.

Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Executive Director Rahul Gupta said some restaurants affected have reopened after they submitted potable water plans to the health department.

The next press conference on the situation is scheduled for 9 p.m. Saturday.

Help and supplies continued to pour into West Virginia. Emergency officials said 800,000 liters of water came into the state Saturday and more was on the way. Many businesses continue to truck in needed supplies to keep store shelves stocked.

Five people have been hospitalized and 73 have showed up at emergency rooms complaining of problems that may be linked to the licorice-smelling pollutant.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Police Say Home Where Neglect Arrests Made In Deplorable Conditions; Mother Disputes Claims
News
Jul. 30, 2014 1:16 PM EDT
Police said the house on Garvin Avenue where they found ...
Full News Story and Video

Police Say Teen Robbed In Downtown Charleston
News
Jul. 30, 2014 1:13 PM EDT
Charleston police said a man and two others robbed ...
Full News Story and Video

AARP Driving Safety Class Helps Seniors In Many Ways
News
Jul. 30, 2014 1:00 PM EDT
If you are over the age of 50 and want a cheaper car ...
Full News Story and Video


News More Than 2,000 Coal Supporters Turn Out For Pittsburgh Rally
Jul. 30, 2014 1:12 PM EDT
News Hundreds Of Citations Handed Out In WV For Texting, Cell Phone Use While Driving
Jul. 30, 2014 11:10 AM EDT
News WV DHHR Workers Picket Over Large Caseloads
Jul. 30, 2014 10:56 AM EDT
News Woman Forgives Husband Who Left Son In Hot Car
Jul. 30, 2014 10:47 AM EDT
News Friday Is Deadline For Jan. 9 Chemical Spill Claims
Jul. 30, 2014 9:26 AM EDT
News Pierpont, WVU-Parkersburg Enter Transfer Agreement
Jul. 30, 2014 8:38 AM EDT
News Northbound Lanes Of East River Mountain Tunnel On I-77 To Remain Open
Jul. 30, 2014 8:19 AM EDT
News Another Tornado Confirmed In West Virgina
Jul. 30, 2014 8:10 AM EDT
News Ex-WV Judge Reports To Florida Prison
Jul. 30, 2014 8:05 AM EDT
News Target Red Campaign Begins This Friday
Jul. 30, 2014 9:12 AM EDT
News Elderly Woman Fights Off Intruders
Jul. 30, 2014 9:06 AM EDT
News Small Businesses In Morris Building Recovering After Fire
Jul. 29, 2014 11:37 PM EDT
News West Virginians Helping Detroit Residents Without Water
Jul. 30, 2014 8:26 AM EDT
News Proposal Would Create Man-Made Lake At Coonskin Park
Jul. 29, 2014 6:40 PM EDT
News State Police Arrest Dozen In Warrant Roundup In Boone County
Jul. 29, 2014 6:21 PM EDT
News Two New Businesses Opening In Putnam County
Jul. 30, 2014 8:57 AM EDT
News Clendenin Man Pleads Guilty To Sexually Abusing Two Relatives
Jul. 29, 2014 8:22 PM EDT
News WV Attorney General Sues Obama Administration Over Health Care Law Fixes
Jul. 29, 2014 6:02 PM EDT
News Bond Doubled For Man Accused Of Shooting Charleston Bouncer
Jul. 29, 2014 5:53 PM EDT
News New Jobs Coming Through Two Lawrence County Businesses
Jul. 29, 2014 5:50 PM EDT
News Police Say Two Arrested After Home Invasion
Jul. 29, 2014 4:18 PM EDT
News Three Girls To Graduate From Listening, Language, Learning Program
Jul. 29, 2014 4:03 PM EDT
News Fruit Recall Affects Costco, Trader Joe's and Walmart Stores
Jul. 30, 2014 8:02 AM EDT
News West Virginia American Water To Conduct Public Tour
Jul. 29, 2014 12:51 PM EDT
News Charleston Distance Run Key Registration Deadlines Near
Jul. 29, 2014 12:15 PM EDT
News Charleston Police Respond To Gun Report, Temporarily Take AK-47 For Safekeeping
Jul. 29, 2014 12:45 PM EDT
News Volunteer West Virginia To Host 2014 Faces Of Leadership Conference
Jul. 29, 2014 12:28 PM EDT
News Nissan Expands Recall Prompted By Faulty Airbag
Jul. 29, 2014 10:41 AM EDT
News Proposal Calls For Backup Drinking Water Source At Coonskin Park
Jul. 29, 2014 10:21 AM EDT
News Police Say Man Arrested After Allegedly Stabbing Roommate In St. Albans
Jul. 29, 2014 10:00 AM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Corbett, coal interests rally before EPA hearings

More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are rallying in Pittsburgh to oppose new proposed pollution regulations.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Louisville seeks developer for dormant Gardens

Louisville officials are seeking a developer to breathe new life into the long-dormant, history-laden Louisville Gardens.
Full Story

Ohio News
Helicopter pilot in serious condition after crash

A pilot injured when a tree-trimming helicopter crashed in western Ohio remains hospitalized while investigators try to determine the cause of the crash.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.