West Virginia families forced to abandon homes after area allegedly contaminated by fracking


WETZEL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — Three families say they had to choose between their home, and their health.

Living in the rural Knob Fork area of Wetzel County, they believe fracking operations by EQT that moved into their area, tainted the air and water to the degree that they could no longer live there.


They say there was a burnt chemical smell in the air, a metallic taste in their mouth, and that was just the beginning.

DK Wright brings us a special report about the critical dilemma those families faced, and met head-on, Living In Limbo.

We’ve had skin rashes, headaches, lots of trouble breathing, to the point where you can’t catch your breath.”

Abby Tennant, Former resident of Knob Fork

Scott Tennant says he’d come home from work and find his wife and daughter struggling to breathe.

Both, eyes look like Pandas, gasping for air.”

Scott Tennant, Former resident of Knob Fork

He would

And away we would go. And we would end up in Wheeling or Elkins or anywhere, just to get fresh air.”

Scott Tennant, Former resident of Knob Fork

Memory loss made Trina Hollabaugh dread conversations.

Because I couldn’t think of my words. There’s nothing more embarrassing than that.”

Trina Hollabaugh, Former resident of Knob Fork

Several of them developed neurological twitches.

I mostly experienced them in my legs and sometimes in my arms.”>

Dia Kennedy, Former resident of Knob Fork

They say one neighbor had eight dogs that died of cancer.

And they say eight of the Knob Fork residents had to have their gall bladder removed.

They met with EQT officials at one point.

And they did give us some answers to some of the things we asked. We did tell them that we were getting sick. And we never heard from them again.”

Abby Tennant, Former resident of Knob Fork

They say a nutritionist took hair and urine samples.

The urine testing showed high levels of BTEX, which is benzine, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene. These are all carcinogenic.”

Abby Tennant, Former resident of Knob Fork

I was short of breath. I had tingling in my hands and legs and arms. And I was very weak and tired all the time. So I spent a lot of time on the couch.”

Dia Kennedy, Former resident of Knob Fork

They researched, kept journals, took pictures and hoped for improvements.

When none came, they moved out of Knob Fork.

They still own their old homes, and now they’re paying two mortgages.

And they can’t, in good conscience, sell their old properties that they believe to be toxic.

Stuck. We’re stuck in between, it seems.”

Trina Hollabaugh, Former resident of Knob Fork

They say they’re living in limbo.

But we’ve had no choice. It was either stay in our homes, continue to get sick, possibly develop cancer, or take the risk and leave, knowing that our health would improve, which it has.

Abby Tennant, Former resident of Knob Fork

Two years later, Dia Kennedy now takes joy in cutting the grass.

What you wouldn’t consider a blessing in a normal situation, it was a blessing, to get back to that energy, just living again.”

Dia Kennedy, Former resident of Knob Fork

These three families say they moved for the sake of their health.

But lost a legacy in the process.

It’s, it’s a heartbreaker. You know you build a home for your family and then you can’t live there. You know, you have to pack up and go.”

Matthew Kennedy, Former resident of Knob Fork



Read More:West Virginia families forced to abandon homes after area allegedly contaminated by fracking

2024-05-16 21:42:36

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