- The City of Charleston is updating resources available to West Side residents at charlestonwv.gov/update.
- West Virginia Health Right welcomes more donations, volunteers to treat residents with no gas
Ways to Help & Find Help shared by Joe Solomon, Charleston City Councilor At-Large:
You’ve likely heard: 1,100 homes on Charleston’s West Side have lost gas-powered heat since Friday night. This is reportedly due to yet another WV American Water water break, with pressure “so powerful it bore a hole“ into Mountaineer Gas’ main line, causing utter havoc.
(As it were, two weeks ago WV American Water asked for a $41.2 million rate increase [amounting to a 22.5% rate hike], plus a 25% sewer hike – while their parent company American Water netted $854 million in 2022. Maybe one day we’ll build pressure so powerful it can bore a hole into the future where we can build a public water system, and invest profits right here.)
These proposed rate increases will only make things worse for the customers on Charleston’s West Side who have already been affected by the natural gas outage. Oppose pending West Virginia American Water and Mountaineer Gas rate hikes by writing a letter to the WV Public Service Commission.
Here are some ways to help and find help on the West Side. There is still a real need for portable heaters. They cost about $35 @ Sam’s Club, and there’s plenty still there (I helped Rachel Rubin and SOAR deliver a bunch yesterday, especially to support Martec Washington’s and Shayla Leftridge’s mutual aid work while trying to follow in Councilmembers Larry Moore and Michael Ferrell’s inspiring leadership). Follow the earlier link for places to drop them off.
In other uplifting mutual aid news: Dem 2 Brothers’ West Side spot is offering free meals starting today (thanks to Abundant Life Ministries + D2B), the Health Right West Side Clinic is offering free meals + supplies from 5-7pm daily until gas is restored, and the WV Black Pride Foundation is offering free soup and sandwiches at its warming station.