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Chemical Leak Poisons Water in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Heath Harrison) -- Emergency officials are now urging residents not to use their water due to a chemical leak.

Counties included in the warning include Kanawha, Boone, Putnam, Lincoln, Logan, Clay, Roane and Jackson counties. The Culloden area of Cabell County is also affected.

Do not drink, use, bath with, cook with or do laundry with water from West Virginia American Water.

The only thing that you can use it for at this time is to flush the toilet or for fire protection.

A substance used in coal washing and preparation and that smells similar to licorice was leaking into the Elk River in Charleston on Thursday.

Clay, Kanawha, Lincoln and Putnam county schools will be closed Friday due to the contaminated water situation.

West Virginia American Water said it will inform customers when the water is safe to use.

For more information, contact customer service at 1-800-685-8660.

The EPA safe drinking water hotline has some general guidelines on ways to reduce health risks. Call 1-800-426-4791.

Information from WCHS ABC 8 in Charleston/Huntington.
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