Editor’s note: The following are comments from people about the water situation in Martin County in Kentucky. Gary Ball, editor of the Mountain Citizen, stresses the importance of people who have “family members who have experienced cancer, sepsis, H. pylori or infections that could be directly related to our water, or diseases of the liver, kidney, bladder, central nervous system, thyroid, etc.,” to come to the water meetings and tell their stories.
Below are excerpts from those stories:
“My name is Bessie Morrison, and I live in Debord, Kentucky, and I’m here because my son asked me to. Since the 1970’s, I’ve been getting a little card every year, that the Mountain County Water District is out of compliance with May, June, July, August, September, etc. etc., and it’s after the fact. And suddenly, all the neighbors have started dying of cancer.
I can name you 40 that have got cancer, and out of every 8 of them, six of them are dead. Within where I live at, go a half mile in either direction and you’ll find six people that are dead from cancer.
In December, my only child in the world was diagnosed with two separate types of tumors in his thighs. They said they are unremovable, untreatable, and uncurable. Even my favorite dog had a tumor of this size on her side and she died. I’ve got two grandchildren, 7 and 9, and I just want to know, what’s going to happen to them, if they don’t get the water straightened out.
I mean I’ve got a list, my neighbors, I have names, and they’ve all passed away in just the last little bit. These are my friends, my neighbors, my family, and if it’s not the water, what’s going on in our county? I just want to know. The youngest one was 21, and she died.”
(Transcribed from a video by the Mountain Citizen of a Public Service Commission meeting by the Mountain Citizen.)
Some Facebook posts from the community about the water:
“My grandson is getting sick in school months and just fine in the summer vacation time.
No I don’t think Science is just for sissy. I have documentation how it is affecting mine tho they whom are in charge may call me sissy or say I’m silly too save face.”
“Omg yes I have been itching like a dog with mange… should have known it was the water.”
“I noticed a strong chlorine odor during the past week.”
“There was something “extra” in the water Tuesday that set my face on fire and my skin is still peeling today.”
“I still think they should pay us back for all the bills and pay us for all the botteled water we had to buy so we dont get sick.”