W.Va. National Guard set to help distribute water

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Restaurants are closed, children are staying home from school and state lawmakers have suspended their just-begun session.

For nine West Virginia counties, Friday promises to be a challenging day as residents struggled to carry on under a state of emergency the day after a chemical spill in the Elk River in the capital of Charleston.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared the emergency Thursday after a spill from Freedom Industries inundated the river and a nearby water treatment plant.

Tomblin has ordered customers of West Virginia American Water to use their tap water only for flushing toilets. No bathing, cooking, or washing — either of hands or clothes.

Officials say they're still trying to determine the extent of any possible contamination from the spill.

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