As the residents of East Palestine, Ohio, grapple with the health effects of a toxic cloud that hovered over the town after a chemical burn-off that followed a train derailment, concerns are being raised about water fountains at East Palestine High School.
The fountains have locks on them, which led to some consternation when the school was the site of a community meeting.
The drinking fountain here at East Palestine High School literally has a LOCK on the nozzle that says “DANGER: DO NOT OPERATE”
BUT THE DRINKING WATER IS 100% SAFE, RIGHT? pic.twitter.com/tXOEwev79g
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) February 25, 2023
I was going to ask Norfolk Southern executives to drink the water in East Palestine high school, but the executives didn’t show up (because they didn’t feel safe) and the water fountains in #EastPalestine high school look like this. pic.twitter.com/nUwdto0mi8
— The Holler Ohio Valley (@heyjohnrussell) February 16, 2023
However, it appears that the school had already prohibited students from drinking directly from the fountains due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A notice on the school district’s website reveals that East Palestine schools transitioned to water bottle filling stations when they reopened after lockdown.
Status Coup News confirmed with the superintendent that “since COVID, students have not been allowed to put their mouth on the water fountain and drink from it — but they are able to pour water into water bottles.”
But that led to the question of whether the water is safe to drink no matter how it gets to students.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, Superintendent Chris Neifer said the water filling stations in the school dispense town water, which state officials have said is safe to drink. Bottled water is also available, Neifer said.
“On a daily basis I am in communication with our county [Emergency Management Agency] and our county health commissioners, staying on top of all of that data and the things that are going on around us,” he said.
“Come on. If there’s no problem, you don’t need to lock a drinking fountain,” she told Carlson.
“Forty-four thousand fish are dead. We’ve seen them. We’ve seen them out here today aerating the creeks. They’re removing stuff. The wellheads are locked. What’s up?”
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East Palestine resident Misty Kalcevic evacuated the town as smoke filled the sky. Since returning, she said her young daughter has developed a cough and watery eyes.
“I’m trying to believe what they’re saying and also wrap my head around the fact that my daughter is getting sicker and sicker,” Kalcevic said.
“I’m making decisions for my two girls and if these are the short-term effects we’re dealing with right now, what if they’re the tip of the iceberg and I’m subjecting them to something that is going to be crazy 20 years from now?”