CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Survey teams that are out in the nine-counties impacted by the Jan. 9 chemical spill and water emergency said Wednesday they are getting great cooperation from residents.

“They were real willing to spend time with us and wanted to share their stories with us,” CASPER team member Amy Atkins told MetroNews.

The Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response or CASPER is a joint effort between the state DHHR and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal is to see how the leak of MCHM into the Elk River that caused a Do Not Use water order to be issued impacted households.

“We have a questionnaire that we use and then all of the volunteers submit the questionnaires at the end of the day and the information will be compiled and reported,” Atkins said.

CASPER efforts commonly take place in communities that have experienced disasters or tragedies.

Atkins said it only takes 15 or 20 minutes for someone to ask the survey questions and have them answered. She said some residents are sharing more information.

State epidemiologist Dr. Loretta Haddy previously told MetroNews the target was 210 households.

“It will determine the critical needs and the impact on the community that has experienced the disaster,” she explained. “It also helps to characterize the population residing in the post-disaster area including any ongoing health effects.”

Thirty-six volunteers from the state Bureau for Public Health and the WVU School of Public Health are going door-to-door.


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  • Mike Miller Sr.

    I was one of the skeptics early on but alot of choices the state and feds made turned out alright.

  • Stuart J. Simms

    I would like for them to come visit me in Clay County!