Jan 9 West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
declared a state of emergency for five counties on Thursday
following a chemical spill along the Elk River in Charleston,
the state's capital and largest city, according to the
governor's office and local officials.
Health officials are advising residents not to drink, bathe
or cook in the water, and only use it for flushing and fire
Counties affected include Boone, Kanawha and Putnam.
According to a warning to residents posted on the
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department website, "conditions
indicate there is a high probability that your water is
contaminated," although no testing has been done yet.
Local media is reporting the chemical leaked from a tank at
Freedom Industries in Charleston, which produces chemicals for
mining, cement and steel industries. A representative for
Freedom Industries was not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski. Editing by Andre Grenon)