Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 WV Aquapocolypse

Hello there dear and faithful Snappers! Sorry it has been so long since I have written. I have been seriously super busy! I have missed you! So what catastrophic, life changing event brings me back to the well worn pages of my blog? Well, an event that is not actually life changing, but is catastrophic. A catastrophic event in the Chemical Valley of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia!
No seriously, it really is.  The 2014 WV Aquapocolypse.

Yes, you heard me correctly.  There has been a chemical spill into the Elk River, which flows into the Kanawha River, which oh, I don't know, supplies water to hundreds of thousands of people. The same Elk River, WV where Jodi Foster travels to investigate her first Buffalo Bill serial killer murder, in person, in my favorite movie of all time, The Silence of the Lambs. So yeah poisoned water, back to that.

The spill was first reported last night on the six o'clock news.  The leak happened yesterday morning around seven fifteen.  The chemical that leaked into our water source is 4-methylcyclohexane methanol.  It a foaming cleaning agent used to clean the impurities out of coal.  Yummy. It is also used in jet fuel. Would be super cool if drinking it gave you the ability to fly. Doubtful. More like diarrhea, headache, vomiting, itching, eye irritation, and respiratory issues. Thousands have been affected in what started out as a five county ban on drinking, cooking, bathing, or washing , and has grown to include nine counties.

The information about the spill keeps changing.  Five thousand gallons leaked to it is still leaking stories are swirling around the internet.  Two days to several weeks, to no clue how long it will take to clean it up.  They do not know how long, they are still assessing the damage.

So Hubbie the Dearest went down the hill last night to grab a case or two of water.  What he ran into was a scene from the Walking Dead.  Police in Kroger's grocery store, policing fights over water.  Outside of Kmart, there were armed Army National Guard all around the tankers filling up with water from the St. Albans Municipal Utility Commission(it's own water source...pulls water from the Coal River), to take to distribute to those without water.  Every convenience store jam packed with people fighting over water.

There were FB posts of armed police escorts driving along side of tankers full of water to protect it from being hijacked, of people hoarding flats of water in stores, and the ugliness of people that comes out when something about life as they know it is threatened.  But then you have all of the stories of how people offered up their homes, showers, stoves and washers to those in affected areas.  You have the people that are giving out bottles and cases of water to those in need.  Semi-apocalyptical conditions seems to bring out the best and worst in people.

What we do know at this point is that in WV, nine counties are in a declared state of emergency, we have been declared a federal disaster zone, the capital light is red, FEMA is on the way, arriving as we speak, there have been water buffalo's set up around the affected areas, water is being transported in as fast as they can get it to us, and we sit and wait.

My work was shut down halfway through the day because no one could use the water to wash their hands and so that we could all go home and take care of our home stuff, ie getting water.  A customer emailed me saying that I should go out and do something worth telling a story about this weekend.  I emailed her back letting her know that all I would have to do was drink the water and go for a ride to the nearest hospital for an adventure.  And then told her where I was.  She said she fell off of her stool laughing.  But seriously, this is not funny.  This is like a practice apocalypse. Only for real.  The health department ordered all restaurants closed, businesses are closed, only two little towns are semi-open for business, and thank goodness I live in one.

So a little WV Aquapocalypse humor for you....

Hugs and Kisses