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Forum Leaves Many Seeing Water Crisis As Even Bigger Problem

Reported: Jan. 29, 2014 11:20 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 29, 2014 11:40 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) – Many people left the Eyewitness News town hall meeting on the water crisis shaking their heads, with a fresh perspective on the water crisis.

"I think this is a bigger problem than what we thought!," Susan Brown said - and she was not alone. The town hall meeting triggered a lot of new "what-ifs.’"

"It didn't really occur to me that our property values are going to drop!" she said. "Who wants to come to an area that's been polluted by chemicals?"

"I think it was very informative,” Susan Rhodes said. “I would have liked to have seen A: Freedom Industries here and B: the water company, so I've got a lot of questions answered. I still think the biggest question is, 'Is the water safe?' "

And most everyone who spoke with Eyewitness News said they still don’t believe theirr water is safe.

"Absolutely not!" Rhodes, who added she has no choice in the short term but to be cautious, said. "Buy a lot of bottled water and, basically, be a lab rat."

"The fact that we are what Erin Brockovich called us, 'lab rats,' ” Brenda Cavendish saidwryly. “There's not enough known about this chemical. We don't know what's happening to us.” “

When asked how she felt about being called a lab rat, said she understood the implication.

"It's not a good term to be called, but we are being experimented on with this whole situation, because nobody knows the answers," Cavendish said. "But there are no definite answers from anybody.”

Brockovich said If the crisis had occurred in New York, everybody would be up in arms.

“We should all be up in arms with what has happened here, and try to draw more and more attention to it," she said. "We're just not gonna have all the answers tomorrow. We'll get there! We're gonna find out the truth eventually!"

The full video of the two-hour forum can be viewed here.



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