Many Marine Admirals are expected to testify publicly on Wednesday about the state of a jet fuel leak from the Navy’s Red Hill Reserve that has allegedly contaminated the water in up to 93,000 homes of mostly military families just outside Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu.
“This is a huge problem, a lot of people are suffering in silence,” Army Maj. Amanda Feindt told Fox News.
Feindt says she and her 4-year-old daughter were sickened by the contaminated water in their Ford Island home on December 13. Feidnt said she suffered from stomach cramps comparable to labor pains. She and her daughter vomited and fell ill with diarrhea, abdominal pain and each ended up in the emergency room where they were treated for dehydration.
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Before that incident, in May, Fiendt said her 1-year-old son had a rash on his body and her husband was suffering from an eye infection.
The family’s unexpected illnesses were made worse when a doctor told them that porous items like drinking cups at home and at children’s resource centers should be replaced, as they could conserve some of the poisonous fuel and make them. sick children again.
“Would you like to drink clean water from a clean, red plastic gasoline container that you have already used?” Feindt asked Navy and Army personnel during a speech at a recent Army Task Force Town Hall in Ohana.
The Navy told Fox News it was investigating two jet fuel spills on the Red Hill Reservation. The first spill occurred on May 6. The second took place on November 20, during which approximately 14,000 gallons of fuel leaked.
The Red Hill facility holds about 180 million gallons of water and is just 100 feet from an aquifer that supplies the island with 77% of its clean water, according to the Department of Health.
The huge underground reserve was built during WWII and is considered essential to national security due to its strategic location.
The Hawaii Department of Health reports that as of November 28, the first of some 500 total complaints began to flow. People near the leak reported “a smell of fuel or chemicals coming from their drinking water.” Families have since reported a slew of illnesses and small burns and irritations to the children’s bodies.
“We are doing everything we can to bring our families back to a safe and reliable source of water. This is the goal of all our efforts,” Captain (Navy) Bill Clinton, chief public affairs officer of the United States of America, told Fox News. US Pacific Fleet.
The Navy began the arduous task of flushing the water from 93,000 homes and buildings, then testing the water in each structure. If the test comes back dirty, the property will be flowed back. Negative tests have already been returned, causing delays. People will not be able to return home until the Hawaii Department of Health finally decides on the safety of the water supply. There is no timeline or estimated completion date.
“I just want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding,” said the US Army Corps of Engineers Cmdr. Kirk Gibbs said at a recent Task Force Ohana town hall. “As we went through the holidays, again I can only imagine what you all went through in many cases without being home with the Christmas trees and the presents and the kids, I can’t even not imagine. ”
The military is asking people to follow CDC guidelines in washing plastic and porous surfaces with hot, soapy water and has promised to reimburse for items that aren’t clean.
The Navy’s contaminated water system also supplies water to the military, navies, air force, and civilian housing. At least 1,000 soldiers live in hotels, according to the Navy.
On December 2, Cmdr. Charles Flynn issued a voluntary evacuation order for the affected neighborhoods. On December 9, Flynn added additional neighborhoods, including Ford Island. The Ohana Army Task Force was established to educate those affected and answer questions on a wide range of topics, such as hotel reimbursement, laundry, and animal care.
The navy and the army reimburse soldiers who stay in hotels. At a recent Task Force town hall, Army leaders said the military was processing “hundreds” of requests every day and providing displaced members $ 531 per night, a 300% increase from regular daily allowance due to high Hawaii hotel rates.
Fiendt says she and her husband stay in a hotel that costs them around $ 6,000 every 10 days. Their combined income allows them to advance costs, but she is concerned about grassroots members who may not be able to afford expensive hotel bills.
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She is also concerned about children and spouses who have suffered from a physical illness that may require follow-up for years or even a lifetime.
“I volunteered after 9/11… my kids never volunteered to be poisoned,” Feindt told Fox News. “I’m fighting for the people who haven’t signed up for this.”