Winfield

Connie Lewis, Winfield, Putnam County

Connie Lewis of Winfield, West Virginia describes having to travel to relatives’ homes for showers, the shortage of paper products during a time when dishwashing is difficult and ill-advised, and having friends hospitalized due to the effects of the West Virginia water crisis.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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Krista Bryson, Driving Through Eleanor and Winfield

This is my mom and me on our way to the store. We drive through Eleanor, WV where the National Guard and Red Cross set up a water filling/distribution station and across the Kanawha River and into Winfield, WV.

This morning, I heard unconfirmed reports on the ground that it will be three days before water is potable (safe to drink).

Sorry about the incorrect dates I stated at the beginning of the video. It’s been a crazy time reporting here and I barely know what day it is without a calendar. The chemical spill into the Elk River occurred the morning of Thursday, January 9 and was reported to the public at 5 pm that evening. I filmed this vlog the morning of Sunday, January 12. I spent all day yesterday filming and blogging about the #WaterCrisis and all day Friday live tweeting all news and on-the-ground updates. I have many more updates and stories to tell. So please keep checking back. I have some wonderful friends now helping me edit and upload new videos. Thanks, Jen and Meg!

I also plan to have a more formal reflection on the events of the past few days soon. There are much larger, long-term concerns that I want to talk about, especially within the context of history of the exploitation of the environment and people of West Virginia.

Thank you to everyone who has viewed and shared this blog. People need to know what is going on here in West Virginia and start thinking about what has been going on here for decades.

You can also follow me for updates on Twitter: @klbryson

Jessie Richardson, Mother of Toddler, Winfield, Putnam County

Jesse Richardson speaks about the difficulty of caring for a small child during the West Virginia Water Crisis, as well as her frustration that she bathed, fed, and gave her child contaminated water before the public was informed of the chemical spill.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Kendra Meeks, Mother, Winfield, Putnam County

I am a 26 years old and my name is Kendra Meeks. I live in Winfield, WV, and I am a victim of the water crisis. I have two young sons who are both 6 years old (not twins…stepbrothers) but we have suffered a lot in the past three weeks. First our schools were closed two Christmas break for a week and a half and then both my sons went back to school on that Thursday like planned, but then that Friday the schools had to close due to bad weather (snow). Then the following Monday they were closed still for bad weather. Tuesday and Wednesday they were out due to no power, so they finally went back this past Thursday and we were all hoping they wouldn’t miss anymore school due to make-up days. Then we heard the news of this chemical leak, which of course closed school this past Friday. Talk about aggravating. My children have been in school for two days in the last three weeks, and who knows when they will be allowed to go back!!!

This isn’t the only reason I’m irritated though. The big issue to me is that we weren’t notified until 4 pm in the evening about this leak, and that the plant knew what happened but never told anyone is wrong. I babysit at home and I was letting my sitting children drink the water all day and I cooked them lunch with that water. What if it would’ve seriously hurt these children who are two to three years old?!!! That guilt would’ve never left my mind if I knew I was the reason that something happened to those precious babies. What the plant owner did was wrong.

Not to mention, I’m to worried to go to the grocery store because I don’t want to get trampled on by all these people out there that are worried and buying all the food and drinks they can. So now my question is who is going to feed my children when we run out of food cause there is none to buy?!! Somebody will because I will dig to the end of the earth if I have to for those plant owners to feed my kids if I have to and I’m sure there are plenty other parents out there that are worried about this same exact thing!!! How can you sit back and know that this is harmful but still not tell anyone and let people bathe and drink this crap?!!

All I know is I will NOT be paying my water bill this month bc it’s half their fault too for not communicating with the plant and vice versa!!!! We have been relying on our community for water and praise The Lord my sister who resides in St. Albans has their city water. My fiancĂ© works at Diamond Electric and they were kind enough to bring portable showers in for their employees and their families so that’s where we have been bathing which is RIDICULOUS that I can’t bathe my own kids in my home!!!

Who’s going to pay for all the water we have bought or the laundry and dishes we can’t touch which are piling high bc we can’t find plastic or paper plates or silverware anywhere!!! So let me just say this if my children are out of school any longer than a week I’m going to be highly upset because not only did they interrupt our lives every day, but they also took away the ability for my children to learn, School is where children belong not locked up in a house that you can’t brush your teeth, take a bath, or even touch the water for that matter!!!

We need and want answers and I do believe that the plant needs to start talking instead of avoiding the situation this isn’t a minor issue it has affected around 300,000 people and it’s hard to tell how many of those people are infant newborn babies that are innocent and what if their mothers can’t find water to feed their children what are they supposed to do just let their baby’s starve to death!!!! I’m sure this has affected some of the workers at this plant so why they won’t speak is beyond me but also I think it’s quite rude when the owner is having a press conference with the news channel and he stops talking to take a drink of his bottled water. How about you quit being selfish since you started this problem and get out there and start handing your bottled water out to the people who are affected!!!

I want to thank whoever started this blog because this just lifted a huge weight off my shoulders because I have been highly upset for days now and it feels good to get this off my chest!!! I hope those that are affected by this issue have what they need and I hope they have friends and family as great as I do to help them out and don’t forget if you have pets do not give them tapwater give them bottled!!! Good luck everyone and you’re all in my prayers as I hope I am in yours!!!

Chris Bock, Winfield, Putnam County

I just wanted to say that I was very happy to see are community come together in this time of need because we need more people to help one another and not get out of control. This too will pass.
As for the people responsible for this, they need to pay for their actions — leaving the community in the dark like that by waiting forever to report this leak. You know this company tried to hide this. How can the community smell this odor but the people working there didn’t? Then they send their own investigators out there around 10:30 to 11:00 am for them to find the leak just for the company not to report it till 12:00 pm. Someone is hiding something and the truth will come out in the end. And I do hold the water company somewhat responsible too. Knowing damn well what’s was up river from them and had no sense to not be communicating with these people on a regular basis. I would think if it were me and I was responsible for hundreds of thousand of people’s safety I would have done a better job working on ways to prevent such a thing.
“IM JUST SAYING.”