CHARLESTON, W.Va. –The Kanawha County school system released the following statement Monday evening after another school was closed earlier today in connection with a licorice-like odor coming from the water:
Kanawha County Schools decided to dismiss Grandview Elementary only as a precaution and it is expected that school will be back in session on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
The Rapid Response team was sent to Grandview on Monday morning following reports of a slight licorice odor and two school employees complaining of symptoms. There were no reports of students displaying symptoms.
The Rapid Response Team is working with Grandview Elementary School to re-flush and retest the water. The team is expected to revisit Grandview in the morning as staff arrives.
The safety of students continues to be a priority. Kanawha County Schools have followed all flushing protocols and in many cases have gone beyond requirements in an effort to ensure student safety. The county also continues to provide bottled water, cook with bottled water and make available hand sanitizer.
The Rapid Response Team, which is made up of individuals from the West Virginia National Guard, the Kanawha Charleston Health Department, the West Virginia DEP’s Division of Air Quality, the Kanawha County Emergency Operations Center and the local school system, has been working with area schools to conduct inspections and additional testing.
The Rapid Response Team also visited Sharon Dawes Elementary, John Adams Middle School, and Alum Creek Elementary on Monday. There were complaints of a slight licorice odor at Sharon Dawes and John Adams. Alum Creek reported oily water in one sink which does not appear to be related to the Jan. 9 chemical spill into the Elk River.
Water samples were taken from all four schools and results are pending.
All results will be posted on the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management website: http://www.dhsem.wv.gov/Pages/WV-American-Water-Emergency.aspx