"We actually started giving out water the same day -- within a couple of hours," he said. "People were so thankful that we were able to open immediately. It was good that we were able to do it, and it was good that everyone was able to do it, because Hurricane was not the only place doing it, of course, but we did it quickly. We knew that if there were chemicals in the water, people were not going to drink that water for a long period of time."
People also flooded St. Albans, which sits on the border of Putnam and Kanawha Counties, both of which were affected by the spill. Liz Christian, a hair stylist for Tan Lines in St. Albans, said she and one of her fellow stylists decided early in the crisis they could do something to help people who were worried about their hygiene during the crisis -- the salon offered $5 shampoos for the duration of the "do not use" ban.
"It was the morning after it all happened, and myself and the other hairstylist here had full books for that day, but we decided we would open it up and let our customers know that we would be doing hair washes for $5," Christian said. "We weren't able to style them or anything because we were booked, but we provided all of the products they needed."
At Ooodles, a specialty gift shop in downtown Hurricane, owner Lesa Bostic said she has seen an increase in visitors to the store recently, but believes it has had less to do with the water crisis and more to do with the cold weather.
"We've seen a lot of people who are just trying to get out of the house," Bostic said. "They've been cooped up. First the power outage and then the water, and school hasn't been in. That's where we're seeing a lot of traffic -- people who've been cooped up with their kids."
According to Bostic, the store has seen a good deal of success since it opened in early September. Bostic said she hopes to open up the second floor of the store, located in a 200-year-old house, in the coming week to expand the business. One of her most recent best sellers, a rustic wall sign, reads, "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is freedom. In water there is bacteria."
"I think people wanted them to say 'there are chemicals,' but I've sold almost all of them," she said. "That's the last one I have."
Reach Lydia Nuzum at lydia.nu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.