The Chemical Valley

Fire at old Ames Plant

The Ohio River is busy with boat traffic delivering supplies to various plants up and down river. Barges are filled with coal, gravel, gasoline, and who knows what else. Many of the big manufacturing plants are located on the banks of the various rivers in this valley for the convenient shipping. The Ohio River has been cleaned up a lot since I was a kid, yet I was told tonight it is not recommended you actually EAT the fish you might catch out of there. Who knows what is still in that water any given day?

As a child, my bare feet would turn black from the carbon fallout from Union Carbide, just up the river. Johns Mansville was located right in town just a block from a grade school. American Cyanamid, DuPont, Marbon, GE, Viscose, Ames…all plants that deal with toxic chemicals and known carcinogens. DuPont has been in litigation for quite sometime over polluting the ground water with C8…a known carcinogen. They don’t call it cancer alley for nothing.

Mr. FixIt has degrees in drafting, mechanical engineering, and business law as well as real estate. He worked for a short time at Viscose then moved to Ames. We awoke yesterday with messages and phone calls from friends and family announcing the old Ames plant #1 was burning. Apparently some pretty toxic stuff has been being stored in there and the unthinkable happened…it caught fire. It has burned well over twenty-four hours sending a huge plume of dark black, foul-smelling smoke into the air that has spread for miles. Large chunks of debris are raining down on the surrounding neighborhoods. Soot and ash are falling on cars miles away. So far, the EPA is stating the ash is nontoxic to humans. The smoke, however, is a different story and Wood County has declared the area around the Ames plant as disaster area, along with a list of known toxic chemicals that were in the building.

How many abandoned factory and plants are in your town? Do you know what’s inside? Has someone been storing stuff in there that you wouldn’t want to be living with, let alone have it burn up next to your house or your kid’s school? Start a conversation. Go for a drive. Jot down the address of the place of concern and ask someone…several someones. Maintaining the status quo and just looking the other way might get you into a mess one of these days. It may be months, years maybe, before the people of Parkersburg know what they were breathing yesterday. The EPA isn’t there for decoration. They keep us safe. Be mindful of legislation. Be involved in helping clean up this planet. We don’t get another one. And pray for Parkersburg. So far, there have been no injuries, thank God. Let’s hope it stays that way! ❤️

“”Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, and in his disaster cry for help?”
‭‭Job‬ ‭30:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬