Life with no water is no fun. I did remember to grab some paper
plates, cups and cutlery when I was out. My lovely fresh clean
apartment is quickly piling with dirty dishes. I went to a cousin's
home whose water was not affected by the spill. I brushed my teeth and
cooked a pot of spaghetti. I can make sauce with no water but I can't
boil my noodles. I refilled 3 gallons of water. Also a cousin bought
me 2 cases of bottled water and 2 gallons of water as well. So I'm set
for a couple of days. I can go back anytime I need to so it is only a
inconvenience for me.
Freedom Industries had a short press
conference this evening. They really weren't helpful. It turns out
that state officials found the chemical leak after complaints of the
licorice smell in the area. State officials were on site for over an
hour before they found that the leak was "leaching" into the Elk River.
The company did not call the leak in until the state officials found it.
The water company intake valve is less than a mile from the chemical storage tanks. The chemical that leaked is:
The 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol Leak will be colorless, with faint odor. It will be a skin irritant if bathed
with. It will be a respiratory irritant. Drinking it would be like
drinking a glass of water with gasoline…one would immediately spit it
out. If an ounce was swallowed it would be a stomach irritant. All this
said, the concentration of the 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol would likely
be small enough to avoid major health issues. In other words, the
contaminant would be diluted as it moves downstream thru major rivers,
such that the concentration of the chemical would be muted/diluted.
are currently digging up the ground that the chemical seeped into
because it is probably still going into the river - but nobody knows for
sure. They know that between 2000 and 5000 gallons leaked from the
tank (possibly caused by the recent extreme temperatures) but there was a
lot of the substance still in the area. They don't know how much WENT
THROUGH HOLES IN A CONTAINMENT WALL which was supposed to act as a dam
in case of a spill.
The first thing I saw when I left the house
today was a line of people forming at the fire department across the
street from our building. People were hurrying to get there but
everything was orderly and fine. Unfortunately our building is full of
elderly and disabled people who can't stand in line to get the water or
carry it once they get it. I am unable to do these things myself but as
I said I have family close by to get my water and I don't have to worry
about the lines. They will also deliver to me if necessary. I am
the restaurants are closed in Charleston and surrounding cities (over
50,000 people). They are open in St. Albans which is where I was so I
swung by Taco Bell on the way home because I was too tired to cook.
There was a line of at least 20 cars and it was the same at every fast
food restaurant. People are driving there from Charleston to feed their
families because they can't cook or clean up. We are fortunate that
there are water sources within 10 miles of us.
There are water
distribution sites all over the place - free water from FEMA and the
National Guard and State and just about every civic group in the area.
ALL the major corporations are stepping up either with donations of free
water and supplies as well as increasing shipments to the area. There
is no water shortage. It is just a pain in the rear to get it. You
stand in line sometimes for an hour or more and you can only get 2 or 3
gallons and you must supply your own containers...which is another
Today I filled up my tub and several buckets because
there was a rumor that they were going to shut off water to my building
and I wanted water to flush my toilets. Thankfully that was just a
rumor and unnecessary but I just emptied the tub and the buckets 10
hours later. There is an oily film on the surface of all the containers
up to the water line. There is a strong licorice smell in the water.
They don't know if the water is unsafe to drink but they don't know that
it is safe either. I do know that I don't want to drink anything with
that much oil in it. I could not smell it when I was drinking the water
yesterday before they told us not to. Thankfully it probably had not
made it into our pipes at that time.
there is probably plenty that I am forgetting but it's time for bed. Later Tater's as Moptop would say.