CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin lifted the chemical spill/water crisis state of emergency Friday evening. It’s been in place since January 9, the same day 10,000 gallons of MCHM and PPH leaked into the Elk River contaminating the drinking water for 100,000 West Virginia American Water customers.
“The state of emergency, basically the event that happened, we’ve handled that to the best of our ability. Now we’re in, the way that I look at it, a state of recovery,” explained the governor.
Tomblin said now seven weeks after the Freedom Industries leak home testing is underway and water samples taken from schools in the nine-county area impacted by the spill are showing up below 2 parts per billion.
“The state of emergency should only exist during a state of emergency.”
Tomblin said he’s concerned about a major storm system set to move in to West Virginia late Sunday afternoon.
“Our emergency team is starting to huddle together now so that we can be prepared for the next event in case it does happen,” according to Tomblin.
Meteorologists said Friday ice, freezing rain, rain and show are all possible with the storm. The National Weather Service has already issued a Winter Storm Watch starting at 1 p.m. Sunday for 33 counties.