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


Sanitarians Working To Inspect Kanawha Schools After Chemical Leak

Reported: Jan. 15, 2014 5:31 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 15, 2014 8:47 PM EST
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Leslie Rubin) -- Schools in four counties continued to be at a standstill Wednesday,while they waited for clean water to be restored.

The process is taking a lot longer than school officials had initially hoped.

Kanawha, Putnam, Lincoln, and Boone County schools have been closed since Monday in wake of the chemical leak that contaminated 300,000 West Virginia American Water customers.

Initially, in Kanawha County, schools officials were under the impression all schools could begin the flushing process on Monday when the first zone was lifted, but that information proved to be untrue

Now, the process of getting everyone back up and running has turned out to be quite the undertaking.

"First thing, I want to make sure they've flushed all their water lines," Kanawha-Charleston Health Department sanitarian Flem O'Dell said.

The halls of John Adams Middle Schools were not filled with students this week. Instead, sanitarians made their rounds, giving schools a passing or failing grade after they've been cleared by West Virginia American Water to flush their systems.

They were checking equipment, asking questions, and making their own recommendations when it comes to student's safety and health.

"That's my personal opinion, as long as they have bottled water, that's what I would use," O'Dell said, after he gave John Adams a passing grade.

National Guard trucks, filled with thousands of bottles of water, made their rounds to every school in Kanawha County.

"We want to assure them that they're safe here at school," Ruthlawn Elementary Principal Natalie Laliberty said.

Ruthlawn Elementary has been cleared by the health department, but Laliberty said her students will only be drinking the bottled water and cooks will be cooking with it while they have the large supply on hand.

"There still is somewhat of an aroma when you go wash your hands, and so forth, so we're going to try and use as little as possible until it's flushed somewhat more," she said.

"You've got 30,000 kids coming back to school, we'll probably have 30,000 different opinions on whether they want to drink the water, use the water, or wash their hands with it," Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, said.

Of the 70 schools in Kanawha County, not even half had been cleared to flush and checked by a sanitarian on Wednesday afternoon.

Kanawha Schools Superintendent Dr. Ron Duerring said they were initially told on Monday all schools could begin the flushing process, but that information was inaccurate.

"We corrected that, and continue to follow all of the protocols," he said.

State superintendent Dr. Jim Phares said they were not sure if they are going to waive the days missed by students this week.

State code does allow him to, but they need to wait until the end of the winter season to make any decisions.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
New Law Brings Policing Effort To Chemical Storage Tanks
News
Apr. 24, 2014 11:42 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) - New legislation ...
Full News Story and Video

Injury Puts Pilot Program At Risk At Kanawha School Board Meeting
News
Apr. 24, 2014 11:45 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Sean Delancey) -- A four-year-old ...
Full News Story and Video

Police Raid Charleston Bar
News
Apr. 24, 2014 11:01 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Rick Lord) -- Charleston police ...
Full News Story and Video


News Family Seeks To Improve West Side
Apr. 24, 2014 11:01 PM EDT
News Dispatchers Say Person Shot In Dunbar
Apr. 24, 2014 11:32 PM EDT
News WV To Receive $5.6 Million From Federal Government For Laid-Off Miners
Apr. 24, 2014 9:33 PM EDT
News WV Tourism Commissioner Retiring After 37-Year Career
Apr. 24, 2014 9:30 PM EDT
News Conservative PAC Endorses Mooney In U.S. House Race
Apr. 24, 2014 9:00 PM EDT
News Wayne County Special Olympics Canceled Due To Storm Forecast
Apr. 24, 2014 9:21 PM EDT
News Chemical Safety Board Examining Inside Of Freedom Industries Tank
Apr. 24, 2014 11:05 PM EDT
News Some See Correlation Between Dropout, Crime Rates
Apr. 24, 2014 11:02 PM EDT
News MU Students Donate To Locks Of Love
Apr. 24, 2014 7:25 PM EDT
News Charleston Police Say Young Man Shot Wednesday Night On West Side Has Died
Apr. 24, 2014 6:45 PM EDT
News YMCA Hosting Healthy Kids Day
Apr. 24, 2014 6:46 PM EDT
News Graffiti Painted on Huntington Murder Victim's Residence
Apr. 24, 2014 6:41 PM EDT
News Circus Arrives In Town
Apr. 24, 2014 6:45 PM EDT
News 3 Judges Deciding Mayor's Fate
Apr. 24, 2014 5:51 PM EDT
News Ashland School Ordered To Shelter in Place
Apr. 24, 2014 5:02 PM EDT
News Putnam County Man Facing Charges Following Police Pursuit On An ATV
Apr. 24, 2014 4:23 PM EDT
News Major Oil And Gas Firm To List Drilling Chemicals
Apr. 24, 2014 4:05 PM EDT
News Tomblin Sets Up STEM Council
Apr. 24, 2014 4:03 PM EDT
News Construction Worker Killed During Bridge Work In Lawrence County, Ohio
Apr. 24, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
News New Marshall University Basketball Coach Dan D'Antoni Has Deep Ties To School
Apr. 24, 2014 11:02 PM EDT
News Charleston Swears In Six New Police Officers
Apr. 24, 2014 2:29 PM EDT
News New River Gorge National River Fire 90 Percent Contained
Apr. 24, 2014 1:41 PM EDT
News LimeLight Theatre Company Presents "The Three Musketeers"
Apr. 24, 2014 12:52 PM EDT
News Court Documents Say Police Chase, K-9 Unit Led Police To West Side Murder Suspects
Apr. 24, 2014 1:34 PM EDT
News Special Kanawha County Prosecutors Sworn In To Handle Cases
Apr. 24, 2014 1:35 PM EDT
News Fayette County Man To Spend Three Years In Prison For Burning Cats
Apr. 24, 2014 9:57 AM EDT
News Judge Bars Plants And Office From Handling Certain Domestic Violence Cases
Apr. 23, 2014 6:51 PM EDT
News Mullens Girls Gather Donations For Charleston Orphanage
Apr. 23, 2014 11:18 PM EDT
News Potential Layoff Notices Worry Miners In Boone County
Apr. 23, 2014 6:44 PM EDT
News 85th Habitat Home Dedicated In Cabell County
Apr. 23, 2014 6:34 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Flags lowered in honor of late Sen. Bob Holliday

West Virginia flags at the Capitol Complex and at state facilities in Fayette County are being displayed at half-staff in honor of a former lawmaker who died in February.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Grimes criticizes McConnell over jobs comment

A local newspaper story that quoted Mitch McConnell as saying it is "not my job" to bring employment to a struggling Kentucky County has unleashed yet another round of feuding in one of the country's most competitive Senate races.
Full Story

Ohio News
Youngstown State to interview Tressel for top job

Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel is among six candidates being interviewed for the president's job at Youngstown State University, where he used to coach.
Full Story

PREVIOUS NEWS: NOV | CURRENT







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.