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Stateside: Five years later, Flint residents, advocates, officials reflect on water crisis

picture of 4 photos of the Flint River and the Flint water treatment plant.
Steve Carmody
"Water is supposed to be a free thing, a healthy thing, water's supposed to be healthy and it's one thing that we need to survive," said Doris Allen, Flint resident since 1972.


Today, a special edition of Stateside: Flint, Five Years Later. The Flint water crisis is seen as one of the worst public health crises in history. Life will never be the same for the 100,000 people who trusted their state and city to provide clean, safe drinking water. 


How the water crisis changed life for Flint residents 

Stateside's conversation with Amber Hasan and Doris Allen

  • Amber Hasan is the mother of six children aged 4 to 18; her youngest was a baby during the height of the water crisis. Now, five years later, Hasan's life is continues to be affected. Hasan joins Stateside to talk about what has happened since. 
  • “In the evening, when I get off work I've gotta think, like, do I have water at home? Six years ago that wasn't a thought."
  • Doris Allen has lived in her same home in Flint since June 1992 and has been a resident of Flint since 1972. She began noticing that the water was a discolored yellow, prompting her to send out water tests and attend informational community meetings about the crisis. 
  • Her disbelief with the quality of water led her to question, "How can Snyder, or any other public figure, do that to a human being?" Allen joins Stateside to talk about her distrust. 


Flint mayor says “tremendous progress” since the water crisis began five years ago 

Stateside's conversation with Karen Weaver

  • Karen Weaver is a clinical psychologist who was elected Mayor of Flint in November 2015. Her task is overseeing her city’s recovery from the water crisis.
  • "Until we get all of the pipes replaced, we're going to err on the side of putting health and well being above everything," said Mayor Weaver. 

Fifteen officials were charged with crimes for their role in Flint. Where do those cases stand now? 

Stateside's conversation with Steve Carmody


  • Overall, there were 15 state and local officials hit with a range of criminal charges over their action either before, during, or after the switch to the Flint river. Steve Carmody, Michigan Radio's Flint reporter, joins Stateside to give us an update on the criminal prosecutions of state and local officials.

The Flint water crisis began 5 years ago today. Is the city better off?


Stateside's conversation with Steve Carmody

  • Five years ago, Flint's drinking water source was swtiched, setting the stage for the city's water crisis. The city has struggled since. But, Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody joins Stateside to report that Flint is showing signs of recovery. 

“We have turned this crisis on its heel,” says doctor who sounded alarm on lead in Flint kids 

Stateside's conversation with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

  • Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is one of the most visible fighters for children suffering from affected water. Her research into blood lead levels in Flint’s children forced state officials to accept that their cost-cutting decision had indeed poisoned the water, and those who drank it.
  • "My interests are making sure that the children of Flint will not only recover but thrive and that's how I spend my day," said Dr. Mona. 
  • "There's so many things that keep me up at night and I think the most pressing thing is the long term recovery."  


What Flint’s water crisis changed for other Michigan communities 

Stateside's conversation with Lindsey Smith

  • Flipping that switch five years ago today caused one of the worst public health crises in American history. Contaminated water, corroded pipes, lead poisoning, deaths from Legionella, harsh lessons about environmental racism, government negligence, arrogance, the consequences of cost-cutting and ignoring aging infrastructure. 
  • Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith joins Stateside to talk about what the rest of the state can learn from the Flint water crisis. 

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