MARMET, W.Va. – Six days into the water crisis and residents in parts of nine West Virginia counties are still llining up to get bottled water.
In eastern Kanawha County town of Marmet Wednesday, volunteers loaded cases of water into vehicles as more cars and trucks pulled up behind waiting their turn.
Marmet’s Public Works Director Johnny Walker said since the Do Not Use order went into place last Thursday they’ve given out tens of thousands of bottles of water.
(Read the latest water emergency test results here)
“This is actually our 16 tractor trailer load,” explained Walker. “There’s 18 pallets on each truck and there’s 57-cases per pallet.”
That’s a lot of water but the need is still great. Walker said they’re not just supplying water to the residents of Marmet. They’re also seeing West Virginia American Water customers from as far as the most eastern end of Kanawha County and Boone County. Walker said they’ve even given water to people living in Kanawha City who are afraid to use their tap water.
The crew working the Wednesday day shift was made up of almost all volunteers.
Shannon Snodgrass lives in Marmet and said she felt like it was her duty to help out.
“This is my community. This is my county. I’m proud of it!”
She said she’s seen some tough luck cases drive through to get water, like people with three and four young children and elderly on oxygen who don’t even have the strength to lift the cases of water.
She said being part of the solution is a blessing.
“It’s a good feeling. I don’t think you can really describe it,” she answered. “It’s something that’s in your heart.”
Captain Michael McGee is with the Marmet Volunteer Fire Department. He’s spent plenty of hours at the distribution center over the past week handing out water. He said he’s in the same boat. He’s under the Do Not Use order as well.
“It feels good. It’s a sense of fulfillment to know that your giving back something to this community,” he said.
McGee said there is one thing he is looking forward to.
“Take a shower! A 45-minute shower! I can’t wait!”