Crisis In West Virginia: Wal-Mart Calls In Police To Guard Bottled Water Delivery

Residents of South Charleston, W.Va., wait in line at Kroger to buy water following a chemical spill on the Elk River that compromised the public water supply of eight counties on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. Think Progress – by Emily Atkin

The Federal Emergency Management Authority has confirmed that it will deliver more than 1 million liters (264,172 gallons) of clean water to residents of the nine counties in West Virginia after a chemical used by the coal industry spilled into the Elk River on Thursday.

Approximately 300,000 people in West Virginia were told not to drink or use their water after approximately 5,000 gallons of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM) — a chemical used to wash coal of impurities — spilled from a tank owned by Freedom Industries. West Virginia American Water Company president Jeff McIntyre warned consumers not to use tap water for baby formula, brushing teeth, or showering. “Toilet flushing only,” he said.  

The reports sent people rushing to stock up on bottled water, stripping store shelves around the area, including local Wal-Marts. Tension over the availability of clean water in the area seemed to be growing. At around 3:00pm, the Kanawha County police scanner lit up with reports of a shipment of water that was about to come in to a nearby Wal-Mart, asking for police presence while employees could restock.

“It was chaos, that’s what it was,” convenience store cashier Danny Cardwell told

Local officials have described MCHM as smelling like licorice and looking like “cooking oil floating on top of the water.” The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said symptoms of MCHM exposure include “severe burning in throat, severe eye irritation, non-stop vomiting, trouble breathing or severe skin irritation such as skin blistering.”

Though the spill occurred Thursday morning, West Virginia American Water didn’t provide its customers with a warning until evening and, as Al Jazeera reported, several were angered by the lack of information, particularly regarding what should be done if they had already used or ingested the water.

At a press conference Friday afternoon, West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General James Hoyer said the amount of MCHM in the water was becoming more diluted.

“There has been a reduction in the concentration in the water from two parts per million to 1.7 parts per million,” Hoyer said. “The CDC says one part per million would be an acceptable level. Point-one would be the level there they would not notice any smell or taste difference.”

14 thoughts on “Crisis In West Virginia: Wal-Mart Calls In Police To Guard Bottled Water Delivery

    1. Hey #1, just think of all the business that this could possibly bring in for that “Big Berkey Water Filters” advertisement at the right hand side of the screen . just sayin` 😉 🙂

    2. No shit. I’m waiting for the FEMA centers to say, “Closed due to Chemical Spill”.

      Also, where is the company that spilled and created this mess? Do they get arrested or sued?

      (Crickets chirping)…….

      Not a word from them in the Zionist media. Gee…imagine that. Once again, focusing on the symptoms rather than the source of the problem.

      1. Sorry to hear that #1. I grew up drinking well water and still do to this day.
        I tried drinking city water a few times…tasted like chlorine. Like the water my grandpa used to have in his swimming pool. Yucky.

  1. I cant remember if I already posted this, but did you know that california is in its worst draught ever in history? 3 years running now. Snow pack in sierra nevada mountains is down 90%. Most snow comes in november and december..they got none. All of january predicts clear skies. Sacramento started rationing water December 2013, and I am talking major rations.
    Who rations water in December?? Farmers are freaking out and asking for federal assistance. Why is this not in the media? Two forest fires in northern california in January 2014, which is unprecedented. Looks like a fun summer, forest fires and no food.

    1. Really? Sorry to hear that. Didn’t know that. I would love to read more on it, if you can find an article on it. I’ve been to Sacramento in 2006. Very dry place. The grass always looked burnt. Nice place, otherwise. Kinda had a small Austin, TX feel to it.

    2. What the hell are we, chopped liver?
      Clarify your statements. What you meant to say was, “the mainstream propaganda machine has not reported this incident.”
      We have been all over it here at From the Trenches. I live here right in the middle of the issue.

  2. I live in northwest Oregon, we are feeling it slightly here, but we had a good rain today and more tomorrow…Just do a startpage search “draught in California”, and while you are at it, search this also “mexican drug cartels in northern california”… california is a cesspit and getting worse…Then type in “latest gun laws in California” they are getting as bad as New York. I moved from there 20 years ago because I saw it coming.

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