After four days without potable water in the neighborhood, it was worth every penny we spent to get a shower and do the laundry. Unfortunately, we had to drive eighty miles (round trip) to achieve the goal of cleanliness and civility. We spent the night in the closest town we could find with a hotel and a nearby laundry.
Today is the fourth day without water for nearly 300,000 people in the immediate area of Charleston.
Our dog traveled with us on this trip. To him it was like going to an amusement park but to us it was something quite different. When we arrived in the town of Barboursville, the 24 hour laundromat was “overwhelmed” with people from Charleston, who were doing like us, and making the best of a bad situation.
In addition to my dual band HT, I took my “tablet” with me which I found very useful. I keep an app (IARL) on it which shows all the ham repeaters which are centered on my “current” location. The map features were very useful too. I also carry a small SWL (Tecsun PL-380) radio with me which is really nice for hearing foreign broadcast and local AM and FM broadcasts.
We drove back early this morning, spent most of the day with friends, and this evening, happily, we got the “OK” to start flushing out the water lines in our home.
This amounted to depleting all the hot water from our water tank for 15 minutes, and running the cold water for an additional 5 minutes. Then we ran both the washing machine and the dishwasher for a complete cycle with clean water.
I can’t express how happy I am to again use something (H2O) most people in the world take so much for granted. Contamination levels are now tolerable in the small area where I live. We live the closest to the immediate spill. Three hospitals, the largest shopping mall, and the state capitol are in this area.
As you can see in the above picture, there’s still a large area which needs to be flushed with clean water. Only then can the process of household purging begin. For us this trial has finally ended; but it will take even longer for the entire area to finally be purged of this coal cleaning compound.
I’ve always been a strong advocate for clean water, clean air, and a clean environment in this state. I’ve known for years the dangers of depleting our natural resources. This state, and I might add, this entire tri-state area, has an ugly history of human and environmental catastrophes. I can’t imagine the amount of water than has been wasted in this event.
Fortunately this latest catastrophe only caused an inconvenience for most (not all) of these 300,000 people. We’re on the way to recovery now, but not entirely there yet!