CHARLESTON, WV -- Grandview Elementary School in North Charleston was closed at 12:15 p.m. Monday after several teachers reported symptoms like those associated with inhaling crude MCHM fumes.
Test results later in the day showed no sign of the chemical when tested at the 10 parts per billion screening level.
Principal Erin Sullivan said several teachers became dizzy and had minor headaches, burning eyes and nostrils after a licorice-like odor crept through the school. No students were affected.
Grandview is the most recent school to be closed for licorice-like odors associated with the Jan. 9 Freedom Industries chemical spill. Despite intensive flushing and the water company's assurances the water is safe, the telltale odor of the chemical continues to crop up.
Overbrook Elementary, Watts Elementary and J.E. Robins Elementary were the last to experience the strong fumes when they were closed Feb. 7.
As soon as Sullivan reported the odor, the National Guard, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and the state Department of Environmental Protection sent a rapid-response team to take water samples.
Kanawha County Superintendent Ron Duerring made the call to dismiss as a precautionary step when the response team reported a low-level odor.
Sullivan said there were licorice-like odors during the height of the water crisis, but the school's system has been thoroughly flushed since then.
Initial tests at Grandview came back a few weeks ago at non-detect levels for both the CDC's 1 part per million screening level and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's more stringent 10 parts per billion level.
Sullivan said the county is sending extra custodians to help perform additional flushing. School will resume today.
Charles Westfall of North Charleston picked up his two daughters and nephew when the school notified him of the early dismissal.
"This (water crisis) has been going on too long now," Westfall said. "I don't want my kids here if there is something wrong with the water."