The end is in sight for the 300,000 affected West Virginia American Water customers who were without water because of last week’s chemical spill in the Elk River. While many people still cannot use their water, that number is, fortunately, shrinking every day.
While at this time it does not seem that anyone suffered serious health problems from the chemical leak, it was a disaster of major proportions, especially economically. While schools and homes suffered because of the water restrictions, businesses were unable to open their doors during a busy weekend.
However, despite these problems, there were many shining examples of caring human beings who quickly jumped at the chance to help those under the water emergency. Almost immediately following news that people would be without drinking water, offers of help began pouring in.
Here in the Mid-Ohio Valley, it was not unusual to see people in stores with shopping carts loaded with bottled water and other items which were taken to drop-off points, such as the Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, and then sent to the Charleston area for distribution. On Monday in Wirt County, 1,100 bottles and 39 gallon containers of water, 65 rolls of paper towels, 2,900 paper napkins and other assorted items that had been collected over the weekend, were loaded on a truck and taken to Charleston.
And it wasn’t just West Virginians who responded, people and organizations from surrounding states also pitched in to help.
The news is so saturated with bad things happening it is possible to become jaded about the state of our society. However, this situation, we believe, shows the true nature of the majority of people – always ready to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever it is needed. The situation in Kanawha County has been a disaster. However, if not for the goodness of people, it could have been much worse.