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.

 

1
Text Only
West Virginia
  • Lawsuit filed over Dirty Girl Mud Run

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVa. man sues GM over wife's death

    A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

  • Feds commit to health studies on spilled chemical

    After largely dismissing the possibility of long-term health problems, federal officials will conduct more studies on chemicals that spilled into West Virginia’s largest drinking water supply in January.
    In the next two months, federal health officials are also heading back to West Virginia.

    July 24, 2014

  • Park Service assesses impact of W.Va. attractions

    Four National Park Service attractions in West Virginia drew a total of 1.5 million visitors last year.

    July 23, 2014

  • This weekend's 'Dirty Girl' race canceled

    Organizers of a Charleston running event that was canceled for this weekend says it won’t issue refunds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Reporter heard truck backfiring, not gunshot

    Similar sounds in different circumstances create different reactions. That is so for WVVA reporter Annie Moore, who last Monday told police someone fired a gun at her while she was shooting file footage in the area of a recent murder.

    July 19, 2014

  • Cornhole champions being decided in Charleston

    Cornhole, the strange-sounding game made popular in backyards and at football tailgate parties, is taking on a serious side this week.
    The American Cornhole Organization will crown its world champions as about 380 competitors from 17 states vie for $10,000 in prize money in singles and doubles events.

    July 19, 2014

  • Multi-state distracted driving enforcement planned

    Law enforcement agencies in six states plan participate in a weeklong campaign targeting distracted driving.

    July 18, 2014

  • Female guard accused of having sex with juvenile inmate

    A West Virginia Division of Corrections officer has been charged with having sexual contact with a female juvenile inmate at the Lincoln Detention Center in Wheeling.

    July 18, 2014

  • Two charged in 1999 disappearance of W.Va. women

    Two men have been indicted on murder charges stemming from the 1999 disappearance of a West Virginia woman and her daughter.
    A Lewis County grand jury charged both Charles Stephen Freeman, 51, of Archbold, Ohio, and Joseph Metz, 39, of Horner with two counts of first-degree murder on Wednesday in a sealed indictment, media outlets reported.

    July 18, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads