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More help coming to people in Flint in need of lead-free water

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

This week, state and local efforts are being stepped upto help people in Flint have clean water.

Flint’s tap water is not safe to drink because of lead contamination.  The problem dates back to the city’s switch to the Flint River as its primary drinking water source. Mistakes with the way the water was treated allowed corrosive river water to seriously damage aging water pipes. The city switched back to a less corrosive water source last fall, but the damage was done. 

This month, Gov. Snyder declared a ‘State of Emergency’ in Flint. 

This morning, American Red Cross volunteers helped a steady stream of people walking into Fire Station #3 in Flint to pick up free water filters and cases of bottled water. People patiently waited in a bitterly cold garage as volunteers filled out paperwork and helped them carry cases of bottled water to cars in the parking lot. 

Like other people standing in line, Tateionia Rice says she’s glad to see help finally coming.

“Hey, can’t turn down free water,” says Rice, “and can’t turn down what the city of Flint is trying to do for us.”

In addition to extended hours at water distribution sites around Flint, teams of state workers will fan out across the city this week to reach people who need water filters and bottled water. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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