72°F
Sponsored by

Eastern Panhandle Aids State With Water Relief

Members of the 167th Airlift Wing of the National Guard in Martinsburg, along with other volunteers, were called to duty after Senator John Unger asked for help.
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - It's been a week since the chemical spill in the southern portion of West Virginia, and even with the water ban slowly lifting, people are still in need of clean water.

The chemicals that spilled into the Elk River near Charleston last week are still a problem for almost 100,000 people left without clean water.

The colorless liquid that smells like black licorice came from a storage tank at Freedom Industries and can't be boiled out of water, which means people can't drink it, cook with it, or even clean with it.

Members of the 167th Airlift Wing of the National Guard in Martinsburg, along with other volunteers, were called to duty after Senator John Unger asked for help. They packed much needed water onto trucks to ship down to Charleston.

"You know, I guess it's all part of being a good neighbor. You watch some of Senator Unger's commentary, this could happen here as well. We have the Shenandoah River, we have the Potomac River. And our outreach to them maybe someday would be reciprocated to help us," said Bob Kutcher, one of the volunteers appointed by Sen. Unger.

Senator Unger realizes this is something that could happen again, but he's working to prevent that. He's introducing new legislation into the West Virginia Senate that would amend the current Water Protection Act.

"Our focus has been on the outreach and the community support to get supplies that are needed down there. We'll let the legislators hammer out that side of it, but it's certainly important," said Kutcher.

Senate Bill 373 would require all above ground holding containers filled with any kind of fluid to be registered and inspected.

But for now, the 167th completed their last trip to Charleston. They sent two trucks full of essentials like water, and also baby wipes, microwaveable meals and sanitizer.

"And we've been so busy just receiving, packing. Everything we've done we've packed in plastic inside boxes, and labeled them," said Kutcher.

Senator Unger was in legislative session Thursday and couldn't be reached for comment on his new proposed bill.

An investigation will be opened regarding the spill, and hearings begin on Friday to start looking into exactly what happened.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

More Headlines