West Virginia governor declares emergency after chemical spill

January 9, 2014 7:01:25 PM PST
A list of West Virginia customers being asked to avoid using water is growing because of a chemical spill into the Elk River in Charleston.

West Virginia American Water expanded its advisory to nine counties Thursday night, up from an original five.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has declared a state of emergency, telling the company's customers in those areas not to drink, bathe, cook or wash clothes in the water and to only use it for flushing.

The company's do-not-use advisory now includes the counties of Kanawha, Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane.

There have been no immediate reports of illnesses from the spill.

State Department of Education spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro says schools in at least five of the counties will be closed on Friday.

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