Some South Charleston, WV residents ignore shelter in place - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

South Charleston, WV residents react to shelter in place order; some chose to ignore it

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SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV -

Kanawha County officials have lifted a shelter in place that was issued following a leak at the Clearon Plant in South Charleston, WV.

The leak happened about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday morning at the plant along MacCorkle Avenue.  Officials said an unknown amount of chlorinated dry bleach was spilled.  This caused a small fire and a chlorine gas cloud that hovered over the western part of Kanawha County.

Employees were first evacuated and then told to go back inside during the shelter in place.  Some people in the communities surrounding the plant complied with the shelter in place while others went about life as usual.

"I didn't know what to do because the windows were open," said Carley Lee, from South Charleston.  

It was a scary morning for people like Lee who heard about what was deemed a "major emergency".  Kanawha County Emergency Officials asked that people go in their homes or offices and shelter in place.

The county reached out to people in a variety of ways to make sure they knew about the shelter in place. They texted their cell phones, called their land lines, posted it on Facebook and Twitter and rang the sirens so that anyone outside could hear. They also contacted radio stations and television stations. Some residents said they also checked on neighbors. Others told us they didn't even hear about the shelter in place order until after it had been lifted.

Some chose to ignore the shelter in place order entirely and were outside going about their day during the event. The roads in the area remained open and were crowded with motorists.

"As far as enforcing it, we can't enforce it," said C. W. Sigman, Deputy Emergency Manager for Kanawha County. "We tell you to shelter in place and you chose to go out in it there is not a thing we can do about it."

The shelter in place order was lifted about 30 minutes after it was initiated.

To learn more about how to shelter in place during an emergency follow the link provided.