Cierra Johnson | Staff Writer
Residents in Flint, Michigan continue to suffer from the water crisis due to high levels of lead and iron. Many people in the are working to make adjustments in their daily routines in order to stay healthy and avoid further contamination.
Flint, Michigan stands as the seventh largest city in Michigan, and is 66 miles northwest of Detroit, holding a population of about 100,000.
In April 2014, the state of Michigan switched the water supply in Flint from Lake Huron to the Flint River, in efforts to save money during a financial emergency. According to CNN, “The Flint River already had a reputation for nastiness and after the switch of water supply residents complained that their water looked, smelled, and tasted funny.”
Although city officials are working diligently to solve this problem, and have tried to reassure the citizens of Flint that the water has been treated and now is safe to use, researchers at Virginia Tech have found that the water is 19 times more corrosive than the water in Lake Huron. According to the Huffington Post, Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan told the National Journal, “It’s a disaster.”
The Mayor of Flint, Karen Weaver, Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, and President Barack Obama have all declared a state of Emergency in Flint. Governor Snyder has also called on the National Guard for emergency relief. The White House issued a release calling for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Genesee County.” FEMA has already begun stepping in to assist the citizens of Flint by delivering water, water filters, and water test kits, in hopes that this will begin to make their lives easier as the problem is being resolved.
According to CNN, Michigan’s top prosecutor, State Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced an investigation in efforts to determine if laws were broken during the switch of water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. There has also been a class action lawsuit filed that alleges the State Department of Environmental Quality did not treat the water for corrosion, which is expected to be done in accordance with Federal Law.
If exposed to too much lead the effect could be detrimental, symptoms of lead poisoning include: permanent damage to the brain and nervous system, nausea, constipation, cramping, fatigue and loss of appetite.
Diamond Cummings, a first year pre-pharmacy major from Flint, Michigan stated that the problems with the water in Flint began even before she started her first semester here at Hampton University. She also stated that the crisis is tremendously effecting her family, “they have to pay the city of Detroit to use their water until the problems in Flint are resolved.” In addition, Cummings feels that in order for this problem to be resolved the city must begin to be more proactive, and figure out exactly where the problem began.