For four days, hundreds or thousands of people in West Virginia haven't been able to use their tap water.
Not to brush their teeth, cook, bathe, or even wash a dish.
There's a sign of relief for some with a partial lift on the state's water ban for about 5,000 customers - many of them large commercial users.
But the company has been operating without government oversight for over 20 years.
CNN's Jean Casarez has the story.
There's a state of emergency in West Virginia and the people there getting more desperate by the minute.
The water that some 300,000 West Virginians usually depend on to slake their thirst, wash their bodies and brush their teeth is now good for only one thing - flushing their toilets, authorities told them Friday.
Their water supply has been potentially poisoned by a dangerous chemical. And there's no water to drink.
It's all sold out. Grocery store shelves empty. People are forced to melt ice for water. Restaurants and schools are closed.
The company that may be responsible for the chemical spill, Freedom Industries has been issued a "cease operations" order.
OutFront: Mayor of Charleston, West Virginia, Danny Jones, whose town is at the center of this scare and environmental activist Erin Brockovich, who's team is now headed to West Virginia.