"I think the governor and everyone started the [tap] water supply too early - before the crisis was even over, and I think West Virginia American Water is not replying like they should," said Buffalo resident Jim Trader. "They shouldn't have started school back for just one day; they should have let the crisis get over with."
Putnam County reopened all of its schools Friday, but was forced to close Buffalo High and Buffalo Elementary schools shortly after 9 a.m. Both schools met the standards for reopening set forth by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, but they were closed after the water company reissued its water ban for the area, according to Putnam County Schools spokeswoman Karen Nowviskie.
Cpl. Will Jordan, a Putnam County sheriff's deputy and the chief of police in Buffalo, said he had heard many complaints from residents about their water after the ban was lifted. He said he believes many people are afraid to drink the water or bathe in it.
"We had a meeting at 8 a.m. with emergency personnel, and that's when they called us back into service to distribute water," Jordan said. "People have come through here talking about their conditions -- complaining about burning or rashes on their bodies and hands, things of that nature. The major concern is people with babies or that are pregnant and don't want to drink the water."
Jordan said emergency services made the call to request four more trailers and a tanker for the water-distribution site in Buffalo after the ban was reissued. He said Putnam County's overall response effort to the crisis has been exceptional.
"County-wide, we've been blessed," he said. "As far as the National Guard or even the Department of Highways -- we call for a trailer, they give us a trailer.
"We emptied seven 53-foot trailers down here in four days, plus a tanker that had 6,000 gallons of water on it. We're at the end of the world down here in Buffalo; we're right at the county line."
Reach Lydia Nuzum at lydia.nu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.