Report of high levels of toxic waste near Hanes-Lowrance concerns neighbors

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- City official hope more testing will shed light on if a plume of toxic waste, underneath the now closed Hanes-Lowrance School, is a danger to nearby residents.

Preliminary test results from monitoring wells at the corner of Ivy Avenue and 27th Street show the groundwater underneath several homes exceed state groundwater standards of the toxic chemical PCE by more than 800 times. The test also showed a presence of the toxic waste TCE.

"Nothing is reassuring now," said resident Verna Davis. Her son also attended Hanes-Lowrance School. "Look how long those kids were going to that school!" she said. "Nothing is reassuring now, you can’t go by anything now because somebody knew all along."

The city, with approval from the city council, is planning additional neighborhood testing including the soil, groundwater and air.

"I’m very concern about the whole neighborhood," said longtime resident Walternette Talbert. "Most of the people around here are old, very old."