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Local help heading to West Virginia after tap water ban

| Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, 2:08 p.m.
Reuters
Residents line up for water at a water filling station at West Virginia State University, in Institute, West Virginia, Jan. 10, 2014.
Reuters
Water is distributed to residents at the South Charleston Community Center in Charleston, West Virginia, Jan. 10, 2014. President Barack Obama issued an emergency declaration for the state of West Virginia on Friday, ordering federal aid in the aftermath of a chemical spill that has left up to 300,000 people without tap water, closed schools and businesses.
Reuters
Water is distributed to residents at the South Charleston Community Center in Charleston, W.Va., on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. President Obama issued an emergency declaration for the state of West Virginia, ordering federal aid in the aftermath of a chemical spill that has left up to 300,000 people without tap water, closed schools and businesses.
Reuters
Water is distributed to residents at the South Charleston Community Center in Charleston, W.Va., Jan. 10, 2014.
A stretch of the Elk River in Charleston, W.Va., is shown Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. The White House has issued a federal disaster declaration in West Virginia, where a chemical spill in the Elk River that may have contaminated tap water has led officials to tell at least 300,000 people not to bathe, brush their teeth or wash their clothes.
Workers pump 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, a foaming agent used in the coal preparation process, out of a 48,000-gallon tank at Freedom Industries, a chemical storage facility in Charleston, W.Va., on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.

Some Western Pennsylvania water and construction companies are assisting in the response to a chemical spill in West Virginia by transporting clean drinking water there, a spokeswoman for Pennsylvania American Water said Friday.

A chemical spill from Freedom Industries into the Elk River on Thursday led officials to ban 300,000 people from using tap water. The federal government and West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a disaster.

An advisory was issued for West Virginia American Water customers in nine counties, including Boone, Cabell, Clay and Jackson.

“We learned about the incident last night and we started mobilizing as soon as we heard about it,” said Josephine Posti, a spokeswoman at Pennsylvania American Water, a sister company of West Virginia American Water.

Penn American is sending 17 water tankers to the Charleston area, she said. The tankers hold 500 to 6,300 gallons of water, she said.

Al's Water Service in Canton, Washington County, sent three of its tankers Friday and will send two more on Saturday, Posti said.

One company, RC Stahlnecker in Milton, Northumberland County, doesn't have a license to cross state lines, so it is transporting Penn American's water tanker to Pittsburgh, from which a Robinson-based Marine construction contractor, Casper Colosimo & Son Inc., will take it to Charleston, Posti said.

In addition, Penn American filled three tankers Friday morning from the company's fire hydrant on the South Strabane Fire Department's property, she said.

The Associated Press contributed. Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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