WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Sanitarians Working To Inspect Kanawha Schools After Chemical Leak

Reported: Jan. 15, 2014 5:31 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 15, 2014 8:47 PM EST
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Leslie Rubin) -- Schools in four counties continued to be at a standstill Wednesday,while they waited for clean water to be restored.

The process is taking a lot longer than school officials had initially hoped.

Kanawha, Putnam, Lincoln, and Boone County schools have been closed since Monday in wake of the chemical leak that contaminated 300,000 West Virginia American Water customers.

Initially, in Kanawha County, schools officials were under the impression all schools could begin the flushing process on Monday when the first zone was lifted, but that information proved to be untrue

Now, the process of getting everyone back up and running has turned out to be quite the undertaking.

"First thing, I want to make sure they've flushed all their water lines," Kanawha-Charleston Health Department sanitarian Flem O'Dell said.

The halls of John Adams Middle Schools were not filled with students this week. Instead, sanitarians made their rounds, giving schools a passing or failing grade after they've been cleared by West Virginia American Water to flush their systems.

They were checking equipment, asking questions, and making their own recommendations when it comes to student's safety and health.

"That's my personal opinion, as long as they have bottled water, that's what I would use," O'Dell said, after he gave John Adams a passing grade.

National Guard trucks, filled with thousands of bottles of water, made their rounds to every school in Kanawha County.

"We want to assure them that they're safe here at school," Ruthlawn Elementary Principal Natalie Laliberty said.

Ruthlawn Elementary has been cleared by the health department, but Laliberty said her students will only be drinking the bottled water and cooks will be cooking with it while they have the large supply on hand.

"There still is somewhat of an aroma when you go wash your hands, and so forth, so we're going to try and use as little as possible until it's flushed somewhat more," she said.

"You've got 30,000 kids coming back to school, we'll probably have 30,000 different opinions on whether they want to drink the water, use the water, or wash their hands with it," Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, said.

Of the 70 schools in Kanawha County, not even half had been cleared to flush and checked by a sanitarian on Wednesday afternoon.

Kanawha Schools Superintendent Dr. Ron Duerring said they were initially told on Monday all schools could begin the flushing process, but that information was inaccurate.

"We corrected that, and continue to follow all of the protocols," he said.

State superintendent Dr. Jim Phares said they were not sure if they are going to waive the days missed by students this week.

State code does allow him to, but they need to wait until the end of the winter season to make any decisions.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Autopsy Backlog Affecting Police Work
News
Jul. 24, 2014 11:37 PM EDT
A backlog of autopsy reports at the State Medical Examiner's ...
Full News Story and Video

Huntington Council Votes To Hire New Police Officers
News
Jul. 24, 2014 11:28 PM EDT
Major changes could be coming to the Huntington Police ...
Full News Story and Video

Library Levy Headed Back To Ballot
News
Jul. 24, 2014 11:22 PM EDT
The Kanawha County Public Library levy will get another ...
Full News Story and Video


News Kanawha Commission Files Petition To Remove Plants From Office
Jul. 24, 2014 11:18 PM EDT
News St. Albans Team Heading To Regionals
Jul. 24, 2014 10:54 PM EDT
News Vigil Held For Gaza Peace; Group Opposes Israeli Policy
Jul. 24, 2014 11:17 PM EDT
News Picnic With The Saints Set For This Weekend At The Greenbrier
Jul. 24, 2014 11:34 PM EDT
News Man Who Shot At Police Sentenced To 35 Years
Jul. 24, 2014 6:30 PM EDT
News Man Arrested For Indecent Exposure Has Ties To Local Youth Sports
Jul. 24, 2014 8:35 PM EDT
News Unhappy "Dirty Girls" File Reports With Wisconsin Better Business Bureau
Jul. 24, 2014 8:46 PM EDT
News Three Face Charges After Woman Claims She Was Robbed With Sawed-Off Shotgun
Jul. 24, 2014 6:32 PM EDT
News Woman Charged With Robbery Headed To Grand Jury
Jul. 24, 2014 8:52 PM EDT
News Kenova Police Implement Drug Task Force
Jul. 24, 2014 8:57 PM EDT
News UAW Backs Grimes In Ky. U.S. Senate Race
Jul. 24, 2014 4:56 PM EDT
News Blenko To Host Festival Of Glass Aug. 1-2
Jul. 24, 2014 4:44 PM EDT
News Salvation Army Hosts Luncheon For Volunteers
Jul. 24, 2014 4:28 PM EDT
News One Worker Killed, Two Injured In Suburban Philadelphia Hospital Shooting
Jul. 24, 2014 5:14 PM EDT
News Walkers Welcome At Charleston Distance Run
Jul. 24, 2014 4:02 PM EDT
News WV Hot Dog Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Jul. 24, 2014 4:09 PM EDT
News Casey, Mooney Talk Business Policy At Forum
Jul. 24, 2014 7:04 PM EDT
News Suspect In West Side Murder Waives Preliminary Hearing
Jul. 24, 2014 6:50 PM EDT
News U.S. Issues 186 Mining Citations In June
Jul. 24, 2014 3:13 PM EDT
News Deputies Say Juvenile B&E Suspects Arrested Clad In Their Underwear
Jul. 24, 2014 3:30 PM EDT
News Wisconsin Better Business Bureau Issues Warning About Dirty Girl Run
Jul. 24, 2014 3:07 PM EDT
News Free Basketball Camp Concludes At Community Center
Jul. 24, 2014 1:53 PM EDT
News WV Capitol Police Officer Kills Copperhead On Capitol Grounds
Jul. 24, 2014 6:35 PM EDT
News MU To Paint The Capital City Green
Jul. 24, 2014 12:32 PM EDT
News New Work Requirement Coming For Healthy People Who Receive Food Stamps
Jul. 24, 2014 1:02 PM EDT
News WV Organizations To Push For Anti-Cancer Vaccines
Jul. 24, 2014 10:49 AM EDT
News Huntington Unveils New Engaging Website For Citizens
Jul. 24, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News Ukrainian Prime Minister Resigns
Jul. 24, 2014 11:54 AM EDT
News France's Foreign Minister Says Missing Air Algerie Flight "Probably Crashed"
Jul. 24, 2014 11:02 AM EDT
News More Than 8,000 WV Consumers Receiving Refunds
Jul. 24, 2014 10:46 AM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Graduation day Friday for junior troopers

It's graduation day at West Virginia State University for the 19th Junior Trooper Academy.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Boone has lowest June county jobless rate in Ky.

The state says Boone County had the lowest unemployment rate among Kentucky's 120 counties in June.
Full Story

Ohio News
Band booster club ex-treasurer charged with theft

Authorities say a former booster club treasurer accused of stealing about $67,000 meant for a central Ohio high school band has been indicted for theft.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.