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Trane, Charleston Newspapers team up to distribute water

By Staff reports
Chris Dorst
Mike Gayton, regional supply leader for Trane, hands a case of water to Cross Lanes resident Sarah Smith at the Charleston Newspapers parking lot Friday. Behind him, Trane employees Pat Tyler, Mike Hrusko and Dennis Shaw unload more water from the truck they drove down from Pittsburgh. Another truck with more water, driven by Trane employees Scott Leas and Craig Burch from Roanoke, Va., was to arrive later Friday night.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Mike Gayton, regional supply leader for Trane, a heating and air conditioning company, said his co-workers called him Friday morning wanting to help fight the water emergency gripping the Kanawha Valley area.

As a result, the company handed out nearly 1,000 cases of water free of charge Friday evening outside of Charleston Newspapers at the corner of Kanawha Boulevard and McFarland Street.

CN agreed to let Gayton use its loading area after learning of his plans and the need for a distribution area.

"A guy I work with in the Maryland and Pennsylvania area said, 'Hey, we'd like to do something as a company to help out the people down there,'" Gayton said.

That man drove a truck to Charleston and brought 300 cases for distribution beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Another of Gayton's co-workers in the company's Roanoke, Va., office called him next. He was driving a truck Friday to the city with 650 cases.

"These people really want to help people," said Gayton, a Charleston native. "The company is really stepping up, and our associates went out and got all this water."

The "do not use" water advisory continues in Boone, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane counties; the Culloden area of Cabell County also is affected. Residents have been told not to drink, cook or wash with the water supplied by West Virginia American Water in those areas. Water should not be used for anything except flushing toilets and putting out fires.

"We'll be able to get it out to people that really need it," Gayton said.


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