Transcript for West Virginians Scramble for Water After Chemical Spill
Right to that dangerous chemical spill in west virginia. Right now so many people scrambling for water after residents were warned away from using tap water. It could be toxic. Linsey davis has the latest. Reporter: It caused a mandatory shutdown and after an overnight rush, they lined up and many places have run out. This morning more than 300,000 west virginians are scrambling for water after a toxic chemical spill contaminated the main water supply in nine counties across charleston shutting down school, businesses and the local government. I didn't know it was going to be this scary. Reporter: Many stores running dry just hours after west virginia's governor declared a state of emergency. Do not drink it. Do not cook with it. Do not wash clothes in it. Do not take a bath in it. Reporter: The governor enlisting the national guard and fema to bring in water and supplies. The chemical reportedly leaked from a 48,000-gallon tank before overrunning a containment area. Officials say it's a skin and lung irritant that has the area wreaking of a licorice type smell. We've had complapss about eyes burning. Reporter: They insist it's not deadly. Cleanup crews works around the clock on the river as officials try to determine the extent of the damage but it could be weeks before the water supply is safe. Abc news reached out to the chemical plant, freedom industries, overnight but have not heard back. This spill happened just upstream from what we're told is the largest water treatment plant in all of the eastern united states. This is a chemical used in the coal industry and according to local officials, it could be potentially harmful if swallowed. A lot of concern in that area and rightfully so. Thank you. Now to the latest on new
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