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Grandview Elementary Dismisses Early After Water Concerns

Reported: Feb. 17, 2014 11:23 AM EST
Updated: Feb. 17, 2014 5:57 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Bethany Simmons, Jeff Morris, AP) -- A Charleston elementary school dismissed early Monday after reports of a strange smell coming from the water.

Grandview Elementary School Principal Erin Sullivan said the school followed protocol once the licorice smell was detected.

Members of the West Virginia National Guard and the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department reported to the school and tested the water, Sullivan said. Numerous teachers reported minor headaches and dizziness after the smell was detected about 8 a.m.

The school continued to use bottled water and hand sanitizer on Monday. Students were dismissed at 12:15 p.m. as a precaution.

A state response team is re-flushing the school's pipes. West Virginia Department of Education spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro said another round of sampling will occur after flushing. Previous tests did not detect the associated chemical, crude MCHM, in the school's water.

Meanwhile, at Sharon Dawes Elementary in Eastern Kanawha County students were removed from one classroom Monday after an odor was detected there, Principal Natalie Vaughan said. The Rapid Response Team was alerted to conduct tests, and school remained in session, she said.

In a prepared statement, Kanawha County School Superintendent Ron Duerring said the safety of students continues to be a priority and said the school system has following all flushing protocols, and in many cases, gone beyond requirements in an effort to ensure student safety.

Duerring said the Rapid Response Team has been working with area schools to conduct inspections and do additional testing.

On Monday, the team visited Sharon Dawes, John Adams Middle and Alum Creek Elementary. The superintendent said there were complaints of a slight licorice odor at Sharon Dawes and John Adams. Alum Creek reported oily water in one sink, which does not appear to be related to the Jan. 9 chemical spill into the Elk River, he said.

The AP contributed to this story.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- A Charleston elementary school is dismissing early Monday due to water issues.

Grandview Elementary School is scheduled to dismiss at 12:15 p.m.

The school is located on Woodward Drive in North Charleston.



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