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W.Va. Chemical Spill Leaves 300,000 Without Clean Water05:29

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Jim Cole of Exeter, N.H., got the last few bottles of water at the Kroger in South Charleston W.Va. following a chemical spill on the Elk River that compromised the public water supply to eight counties of Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (Tyler Evert/AP)closemore
Jim Cole of Exeter, N.H., got the last few bottles of water at the Kroger in South Charleston W.Va. following a chemical spill on the Elk River that compromised the public water supply to eight counties of Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (Tyler Evert/AP)

Federal and state authorities have declared a state of emergency after a chemical spill into the Elk River in West Virginia. Authorities have told people in nine state counties not to drink, cook, bathe or wash clothes with the contaminated water.

The warning came after the West Virginia American Water company notified officials that the contamination had overwhelmed treatment plants.

Reuters is reporting that the spill came from a tank owned by a Charleston based company, Freedom Industries, and it happened near the intake of the Kanawaha Valley water treatment plan.

West Virginia Public Radio reporter Ashton Marra speaks with Here & Now's Robin Young about the situation.

Crews clean up a chemical spill into the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia, which official now say has effected the water supply of nine counties in the state. (AP Photo/Tyler Evert)
Crews clean up a chemical spill into the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia, which official now say has effected the water supply of nine counties in the state. (AP Photo/Tyler Evert)

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