EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – For over a week, the smoke plume from the controlled burn in East Palestine has been the picture of the situation in the village. That’s probably not going to change, ever. But a new picture has emerged, giving people a sense of the situation. On Friday, one of our reporters put on some boots and went into the water to show you.
Reporter Dave Sess grabbed a stick off the bank of Leslie Run and stirred around the rocks. It only takes a few seconds, but moving those rocks releases something, which creates a world of color.
“I mean, it just, the whole crick just became that rainbow oil film. I’m like, oh my, this is a lot worse than what they’re telling us,” said Jordan Hostetter.
Jordan first did it when returning home after the evacuation order was lifted. He saw dead fish in the water.
His father doesn’t mind that JD Vance did the same thing they’ve been doing for close to two weeks.
“I was very glad to see that because I didn’t know that anybody else knew that, you know? That’s why I wanted this to be known,” said Marty Hostetter.
A smell comes up when the water changes color, too.
Marty says he grew up playing in Leslie Run. Two miles downstream, it runs into another stream and then into something larger. He is concerned about anyone downstream.
“If unknowingly someone goes into that, who knows what that can cause, you know? Because this sticks to the rocks. It’s gonna stick to your shoes, your clothes and skin, whatever, you know?” Marty said.
Back at the Hostetter home, just two miles south of East Palestine, their family name has been on the property’s deed for over 100 years. They’re watching Leslie Run closely and hope to see some change. Right now, they feel conditions are pretty bad.
“This is our water. I mean, this is what we drink out of, my kids swim in it. It’s enjoyable and it’s all destroyed,” Jordan said.
The Hostetters had their well tested on Thursday, the results of which won’t be ready for another week.