Supplies Sought For Spill Victims

Posted: January 14, 2014

HARRISONBURG — An effort is under way to collect supplies for people in West Virginia who have been without water for several days as a result of a chemical spill in the Elk River near Charleston.

However, it is not clear if the help will arrive to the affected residents before state officials completely lift water-use restrictions.

Donations of water, premixed baby formula, baby wipes, paper plates, cups, plastic eating utensils and plastic buckets are being accepted through Thursday at the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia in Staunton, according to organizer Misti Furr.

“I got the ball rolling with some local folks,” Furr said. “Another group in Front Royal is also organizing supplies and we are, hopefully, on their pickup route.”

Meanwhile, on Monday officials in West Virginia began lifting water restrictions on some of the 300,000 residents affected by the chemical spill, allowing them to flush out the contaminated water from their homes. Testing will continue, and the water-use ban will be lifted gradually and in zones.

Furr said plans call for delivering the supplies on Friday at the Van and Wharton fire departments in Boone County, W.Va.

“It’s one of the western-most counties that are affected by this,” she added. “Whether or not they start flushing the lines and getting people online a little bit earlier, this is probably one that will be affected a lot longer because they are at the end of the line.”

The West Virginia governor’s office issued a press release on Friday informing people living in the Kanawha Valley that officials were organizing a drive for needed items in front of the state Capitol in Charleston. The statement emphasized that water and supplies were available and there was not a persistent shortage of bottled water.

“We are grateful for the offers of support from private firms and charities — and our fellow West Virginians — to aid in providing relief,” Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin stated in Friday’s press release.

The Frontier Culture Museum, located at exit 222 off Interstate 81, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

For more information, email Furr at

Contact Jonathon Shacat at 574-6286 or at

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