The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

February 7, 2014

Schools closed due to water concerns

Because of a smell resembling that of last month’s chemical spill

CHARLESTON — For the second-straight day, multiple West Virginia schools sent students home because of a smell resembling that of a chemical spill that tainted the water of 300,000 people for days.

The licorice odor has prompted five schools to close since Wednesday in Kanawha County, the site of a Jan. 9 spill. After additional water pipe flushing and testing, all five schools will reopen Friday.

The scent is persisting weeks after officials said the nine affected counties were clear to drink or otherwise use their tap water. Federal health officials even said Thursday that pregnant women could drink it, backtracking on a previous advisory.

Watts, J.E. Robins, and Overbrook elementary schools dismissed classes early Thursday.

At Riverside High and Midland Trail Elementary schools Wednesday, students and teachers felt light-headed and had itchy eyes and noses from the smell. One teacher fainted and a student went to the hospital. The schools closed in the morning and didn’t reopen Thursday.

Follow-up tests at Riverside and Midland Trail didn’t detect the chemical in their running water. But several rounds of earlier tests also didn’t detect the chemical at the two schools.

Elsewhere, a U.S. House committee has announced who will testify Monday during a Charleston hearing on West Virginia’s chemical spill. The 9 a.m. meeting will take place at the Kanawha County Courthouse. The witness list includes the president of West Virginia American Water, state health, homeland security and environmental officials, the chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and county emergency and homeland security officials.

Freedom Industries President Gary Southern has been invited. He isn’t expected to attend, said committee spokesman Justin Harclerode.

Two West Virginia members sit on the committee: Nick Rahall, the committee’s top Democrat, and Republican Shelley Moore Capito.

A U.S. Senate committee took testimony about the chemical spill in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

The water company affected by the spill also will start providing $10 to residents and $20 to businesses in one-time relief on their water bills Friday. West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre announced the start of the credits during a state House of Delegates meeting Thursday.

The credits account for the cost of running water to flush chemicals out of pipes, and added costs for businesses, such as restaurants, to comply with required cleaning.


Text Only
West Virginia
  • Two state tornadoes occur on same day

    West Virginia gets few tornadoes on average every year, yet two of them occurred on one recent day.
    While the sheer number of annual tornadoes pales in comparison to other states, they do occur in West Virginia, with its vast network of hills and mountains. Two of them formed 55 miles apart on Sunday night.

    July 31, 2014

  • I-77 tunnel repair complete

    Repairs to an Interstate 77 tunnel along the Virginia-West Virginia border have been completed following a truck fire.

    July 30, 2014

  • Another tornado confirmed in West Virginia

    Another tornado has been confirmed in West Virginia.

    July 30, 2014

  • Pierpont, WVU-Parkersburg enter transfer agreement

    West Virginia University at Parkersburg has signed a transfer agreement with Pierpont Community & Technical College.

    July 30, 2014

  • Repairs set for I-77 tunnel

    Some lanes of an Interstate 77 tunnel along the Virginia-West Virginia border where a truck fire occurred are being rerouted for repairs.

    July 29, 2014

  • Veterans crisis center coming to Clarksburg

    The long delays for veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals have prompted The American Legion to plan a short-term crisis center in Clarksburg.

    July 29, 2014

  • Weekend tornado confirmed in West Virginia

    The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Pleasants and Ritchie counties over the weekend.

    July 29, 2014

  • Rahal: Fund VA reform ‘for our veterans’

     On the cusp of Congress’s lengthy summer break, factions sparring over legislation to strengthen health care and funding reforms for the Department of Veterans Affairs may have reached a compromise.
    Although final details are still in the works, the top two negotiators, Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., released a joint statement that said they had “made significant progress toward and agreement on legislation to make VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals.”

    July 29, 2014

  • Attorney general reaches $950,000 settlement with three financial groups

    West Virginia’s attorney general has reached a $950,000 settlement with three companies over allegations of antitrust law violations.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman convicted in teen’s slaying moved

    A Monongalia County teenager has been transferred to a state prison to complete her sentence for the slaying of another teenager.
    The Lakin Correctional Center near Point Pleasant said Friday Rachel Shoaf has been booked at the Division of Corrections prison. Shoaf turned 18 last month and had been held in a juvenile facility.

    July 26, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads