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Kanawha Valley leaders seek water company probe

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As thousands of people in Putnam and Kanawha counties dealt with the second wide-spread water outage in two weeks, local officials on Tuesday voiced their displeasure with West Virginia American Water.

On Tuesday afternoon, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, members of the Kanawha County Commission and other local mayors met to criticize American Water’s handling of water-line repairs and to push for an investigation by the state Public Service Commission into the company’s reliability and infrastructure projects.

“It’s so easy to beat up on corporations, and I don’t usually take part in it,” Jones said. “But something has to happen.”

In a conference room in City Hall, Jones and Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper spoke about the problems the outages have caused in the past two weeks.

While the two outages didn’t directly affect Charleston, Jones said the lack of water in surrounding area hurts tourism and commerce throughout the region, including at of the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort in Nitro.

“We need to stand up for each other,” Jones said as he looked at Dunbar Mayor Terry Greenlee and St. Albans Mayor Dick Callaway. “What happens to you, happens to us.”

With so much talk in the state about how to attract businesses to West Virginia, Carper said people need to start looking at the basics like providing reliable water service.

Carper said the lack of water in Dunbar and St. Albans caused serious concerns over fire protection during the outages…

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