Forty Minutes from Fresh Water

By S. Rhodes

My community is partially in Putnam and partially in Cabell County. I have many elderly neighbors, and yes, there are also children and handicapped individuals that need access to clean water. Water distribution in this area was cut off on Jan. 18.

I own a small business that I run out of my home and have been unemployed during this water crisis. Needless to say, driving an hour each day to Charleston for water is causing financial hardship, and is just not feasible for myself and many others here. The closest bottled water distribution available is in Nitro, W.Va., 40 minutes away, and it ends soon.

We are really just getting the chemical heavy in our tap. The smell alone, with no physical contact, is burning our eyes, nose and mouth, and it’s causing headaches and even chest pains in myself, my husband and many of our neighbors. Our main water lines have not been flushed, so the multiple times that we have flushed our house is just pulling more chemical into our lines and tanks, filling our homes with that noxious smell.

S. Rhodes is an artist in Putnam County, W.Va.


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