WV Department of Environmental Protection Issues Statement About Mysterious White Dust That Snowed Down in Part of the State

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has issued a statement about mysterious white dust that snowed down in the Eastern Panhandle of the state, as well as parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

The agency said that while they still do not know what it is, they are not issuing a shelter in place advisory.

Hundreds of people took to social media on Thursday night to post photos and videos of the dust in the air and covering their vehicles.

“West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is working with state and local agencies to investigate large amounts of dust across multiple counties in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle,” the agency said in a statement.

“The WVDEP received reports late Thursday night about the dust and mobilized inspectors to the area to collect samples and identify potential sources. No obvious sources have been identified at this time,” the agency continued.

The agency continued, “no shelter in place advisories have been issued for this area.”

“We have staff on site who are coordinating with our state and local partners to identify the material and any potential causes,” said WVDEP Division of Air Quality Director Laura Crowder.

The WVDEP said that they are working with the Berkeley County Office of Emergency Services and the state Department of Agriculture to collect additional samples and have them analyzed.

“Samples will also be taken to the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey in Morgantown to determine if the cause of the dust is related to recent dust storms in the Midwest,” the statement continued. “The West Virginia Department of Agriculture, West Virginia Division of Emergency Management Division (WVEMD) and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office are also investigating the situation.”

A Facebook page that tracks emergencies in the Panhandle, Eastern Panhandle Working Fires, was early to post about the dust.

“Call 911!! Per The WV Dept of Environmental Protection, they have requested that anybody experiencing these issues call 911 immediately and have their local fire department respond. They also advise to shut doors and windows and avoid outdoors at this time as a common sense approach until it can be identified,” a post on the page read.

Dozens of people posted photos and videos in the comments.

In a later post, the page stated, “EPWF is an informational venue. While we may not agree with the DEPs assessment to call 911 to have local FDs respond; it is, in fact, the requested action by the governing agency responsible. We are just passing that information on. If you believe WV DEP response was inadequate or overkill, please contact them directly.”

Jefferson County, WV Homeland Security, and Emergency Management posted that “our office has been following the reports of the dust seen throughout the Eastern Panhandle of WV. The attached post from one of the meteorologists connected with a TV station in WV seems to be able to provide some knowledgeable insight into the observations. We will be following up with further information from the State as it becomes available.”

They pointed to another local meteorologist, Spencer Adkins, who wrote, “clearly ‘stuff in the air’ is a concern anywhere in the entire region after East Palestine but satellite scientists pointed the dust plume out early Thursday because it was pretty evident. Think how we often see smoke from fires even farther west in summer.”

Dozens of people in the area posted photos and videos of the dust raining down from the sky like snow, despite it being warm outside.

Some people in the Panhandle reported seeing a small plane before the dust, others speculated it was pine pollen, and some insisted it was a dust storm from New Mexico.

Local meteorologist Justin Berk posted, “WHAT IS FALLING FROM THE CLEAR SKY? I’ve just been informed from West Virginia to Carroll County MD there seems to be White ASH falling and coating. Michael Triplett sent me a pic of the ‘stuff’ on his truck in Westminster. If you have any additional pics/videos, please share and let us know where. The WV Dept of Environmental Protection has been asking for this as well. I want to help figure this out with you.”

The Hampshire County 911 Center posted “We are aware of recent reports of an unknown dust-like substance accumulating on cars and surfaces outside. This is reportedly occurring across the tri-state region. We are aware of some other social media sites that have advised you to contact 911 if you witness this situation. Although you are more than welcome to contact our 911 center, we ask you to use the non-emergency number for this. (304-822-6000). Be prepared to give your name, address and contact information, so that we may log the information for environmental agencies if needed.”

“If you are experiencing this heavy dust substance at your residence, per the office of emergency management, remain inside and turn off any devices that introduce outside air into your residence,” the post continued. “Responders will not be responding for sightings of this substance, unless a medical emergency or another type of emergency is present.”

Some of the people who went outside reported that their throat was burning and that their skin was itchy.

Similar dust fell in Connecticut last week — and it reportedly smelled like chlorine.

“Some have speculated that it could be chemicals from the train derailment in Ohio earlier this month. NBC Connecticut meteorologists aren’t sure that could be the case since the fire and chemical release from that derailment happened two weeks ago,” NBC Connecticut reported.

“NBC Connecticut Chief Meteorologist says it’s possible the residue is from dust kicked up from a dust storm in the Plains a few days ago. He says he smelled a chlorine-like odor in West Hartford Friday morning, but he doesn’t have an explanation for that.”

The Gateway Pundit will update this story when more informat


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