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County Officials Hope To Extend Water Distribution Time

Reported: Jan. 22, 2014 9:10 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 23, 2014 9:30 AM EST
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It's been a long two weeks for more than 300,000 West Virginia American water customers. And with the added concern of another chemical in the water, Kanawha County officials are pushing to keep water distribution sites open longer.

"It's a terrible thing that's happened to Kanawha County," said Hoppy Shores from Kanawha County Commission. "Probably the worst thing that's happened in many many years."

Cars lined the roads in Sissonville, waiting to get their bottled water.

Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department has been a distribution point since the "Do Not Use" ban went into effect for Kanawha County. With the help of local boy scouts and firefighters, the distribution point has been open every day.

Since they started, the fire department has gone through nearly 30 tractor trailers, 8 National Guard trucks, and even a UPS truck all full of water.

Drew Foutty, a firefighter at the Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department, said there has been a steady flow of people needing water since the day of the chemical leak.

And with the news of the new chemical, PPH, being mixed in the crude MCHM that leaked into the Elk River, people remain hesitant when it comes to drinking the tap water.

And because of that hesitation, Kanawha County commissioners said as long as FEMA continues supplying bottled water, there will be distribution points through out the county.

While that's a lot of work for the volunteer firefighters, they said they 'll do what they have to do as long as they can.

"Everybody's tired and worn out. I'll be glad when it's over. But you know the public really been appreciative of it," said Foutty. "You know we know they appreciate it and that makes it worth it."

Three distribution sites will remain open throughout the rest of the week.
There will be a distribution site at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. That will be in the parking lot on the Greyhound bus station side from noon to 5pm.

Witcher Creek Fire and Ambulance station from 10am to 6pm.

And lastly, the Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department will be open from 5pm to 8pm.

As for the 8 other counties affected by the chemical leak, you can check with your local emergency operations office to check on distribution sites.



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