ASHEBORO, NC -- The Rushwood Park Church left early Saturday morning to deliver drinkable water and other items to those affected by water contamination in West Virginia.
They had been collecting supplies from the past week from church members, community members, and local businesses.
Cody Williamson, one of the church's organizers told WFMY News 2 they collected 45,000 pounds of supplies total. This included 35,000 bottles of water, paper goods, and hand sanitizer.
Williamson told WFMY News 2 Sunday a lot of the people in West Virginia still do not trust the water. He said they still feel as if it's a threat to them and it's going to take awhile for them to feel safe again.
Saturday, Cody said cars were lined up around the block of people waiting to receive their supplies.
In retrospect, Cody says the trip showed him and his group that people are in need, more so than others know. He hopes to put together a nonprofit in the near future to help more people in the West Virginia area.
The emergency began Thursday following complaints to West Virginia American Water about a licorice-type odor in the tap water. The source: the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, which had leaked out of a 40,000-gallon tank at a Freedom Industries facility along the Elk River.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin are urging tighter regulation on chemical storage facilities after a spill contaminated drinking water for 300,000 people.
The Democrats announced complementary state and federal proposals Monday for storing chemicals in above-ground tanks. Freedom Industries' Jan. 9 chemical spill in Charleston prompted the bills. Tomblin wants a new state regulatory program with annual inspections of above-ground chemical tanks. The governor's bill would require water systems for the public to have emergency plans in case spills occur.
Facilities would self-report locations, construction and maintenance of tanks, and file annual reports.
Manchin's federal bill would mandate state inspections and emergency plans. Another Manchin bill would include more testing on little-known chemicals, such as the coal-cleaning agent that polluted the Elk River.
WFMY News 2