April 3, 2011  //  



Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, VA 23236
CONTACT: Janet L. Clements (804) 674-2400
                     Suzanne Simmons (276) 973- 0063




RICHMOND, VA — The Virginia Department of Health, Office of Water Programs has issued a boil water notice for the Buchanan County community of Hurley, where power, telephone, water and sewer service were interrupted following the May 2, 2002 severe flooding.

Jack Wycoff, environmental health manager for the Cumberland Plateau Health District, advises that all residents of the Hurley community bring their water to a rolling boil for at least one minute prior to use for either hygiene or drinking. This advisement is in effect until further notice from the health district.

Wycoff also recommends residents apply lime to any areas of their property that may contain raw sewage discharges they could come in contact with during recovery and clean up efforts.

A tetanus vaccine clinic has been set up by the Buchanan County Health Department at the Hurley Middle School for residents of the Hurley community. For any other health-related issues or questions, residents can reach the Buchanan County Health Department at (276) 935-4591.

In addition, the floodwaters dislodged a significant number of propane and other fuel tanks. Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) hazardous materials officers remain in the Hurley community to deal with dislodged tanks and potential hazardous spills.

Residents who find hazardous materials (HAZMAT) containers, drums or spills on their property caused by the May 2 flooding are encouraged to call (276) 566-8524. Regional HAZMAT responders will be called in to assess the situation and take corrective measures.

Special concerns:

  • Propane tanks damaged or displaced by floodwaters should not be removed without assistance. They present a very real danger of fire and explosion. If the tank has been moved or damaged, contact your gas provider immediately. Have a propane distributor examine any tank lines or appliances before reconnecting or using.

  • If home heating oil tanks have overturned and spilled in basements or crawl spaces, contact the VDEM HAZMAT number listed earlier.

Other Safety tips:

  • Don’t attempt to remove unidentifiable drums or tanks located on your property.

  • Be wary of common household chemicals exposed to floodwaters as they may pose a risk. Contact the VDEM HAZMAT number listed earlier for more information and guidance.

  • Use caution with electrical lines and outlets. Don’t assume power is off.

  •  Be alert for gas leaks. Call 911 immediately if a leak is found. Don’t smoke, use candles or any open flame, unless you are certain the gas is turned off and the area aired out.

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund