UPDATE: The do-not-use water order was lifted for much of Boone County, including Boone Memorial Hospital, by Thursday morning, Jan. 16.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Almost a week after a do-not-use water order was issued in parts of nine West Virginia counties following a chemical spill in the Elk River, the only hospital facility that had not resumed regular water usage was Boone Memorial Hospital.
“Any indication that the situation is improving will be a dramatic help, not only to my staff, but my patients, here at the hospital,” said Tommy Mullins, the hospital’s administrator.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the areas West Virginia American Water Company services in Boone County were still red zones, meaning the do-not-use order was still in effect.
On Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” state Adjutant General James Hoyer told Mullins state officials and those with the water company were continually testing water quality in parts of Boone County in hopes of clearing the tap water at Boone Memorial for use.
“We are working extremely hard and pushing to get to your facility, in particular,’” Hoyer said.
Mullins said, after the do-not-use order was issued last Thursday night, hospital workers started checking on their supplies. “We had a week’s supply of groceries. We had a week’s supply of water. We had a week’s supply of paper goods,” he said.
In the time since then, he said they’ve received additional water from many sources. “We’ve got a tremendous amount of extra water here,” said Mullins.
Several Charleston hospitals were in the first zone cleared for water usage, following a prescribed flushing process, on Monday.
The flushing started Monday morning at Charleston Area Medical Center’s General, Memorial and Women & Children’s hospitals, along with St. Francis Hospital in Charleston. The do-not-use water order for Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston was lifted later that day.