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5 West Virginia schools reopen after water concern

5 West Virginia schools reopen after water concern
Virginia National Guard
Friday, February 7, 2014 - 12:40pm

(CNN) -- Five West Virginia schools that were closed Thursday because of lingering water concerns reopened Friday, state Department of Education spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro said.

Most, if not all, of the five Charleston-area schools were closed Thursday because of a smell of licorice in the water -- the same smell given off by a methanol compound that leaked into a river and left about 300,000 people without water last month.

But Cordeiro said Friday that testing conducted at the five schools didn't detect any chemical concerns.

The unscheduled closures underscored ongoing public concern about whether the water is safe to drink after a methanol compound leaked from a tank farm upstream from Charleston. Though state and federal officials tried to reassure residents this week, "We are still getting feedback that there is a level of worry," said Laura Jordan, a spokeswoman for West Virginia American Water, the local water company.

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