Sunday, January 12, 2014

Maybe An End In Sight

No pictures in this post.  I want to talk about the water emergency going on here in Charleston, West Virginia.  A chemical leaked into the Elk River on Thursday, just above the intake for the West Virginia American Water Company's water treatment plant.  They said that about 7,500 gallons of this chemical leaked from the storage tank.  It is a chemical used at coal mines.  The water treatment plant is about a mile or so from my house.  We have not been able to use tap water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, or anything except flushing the toilet since then.  I don't think I have ever wanted a shower as badly as I do right now!  It has been declared a State of Emergency and FEMA and others have brought in lots of water for us.  We have not lacked for drinking water, but it is really hard to use drinking water for cleaning, either our bodies or our houses.  Each day I heat a little bit of water and have a sponge bath, but I let my hair go a little longer.  Richard keeps threatening to take a shower anyway, but we don't know what that chemical may do to us. 

News this evening is that we may be able to use the water very soon.  They said that the chemical must test below a certain number for 24 hours before we can flush our systems.  We have to drain the water heaters and throw away the ice in our ice makers.  Filters must be changed.  They said they will open the system in zones, and we are in zone four.  The first zones include the area hospitals, one of which is where Richard works.  Schools are cancelled for tomorrow and maybe for longer.  Some of the area restaurants have been able to reopen as long as they have a separate source for water, submit their plan in writing and get approved.  It really looks strange to drive around and see parking lots empty of cars.  We went to Sam's Club and Walmart today and there were very few people there.  I hope how soon this crisis is over and we can move on to the next crisis!

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