SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Flint residents rally in Michigan's capital against end of bottled water program

Some Flint, Michigan, residents angry about the state's decision to end a free bottled water program took their outra...

Posted: Apr 11, 2018 8:04 PM
Updated: Apr 11, 2018 8:04 PM

Some Flint, Michigan, residents angry about the state's decision to end a free bottled water program took their outrage to the Capitol on Wednesday.

The protest comes amid claims by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder that the levels of lead in Flint's water are below the federal limit and the quality is "well within the standards." Four years ago, when the city switched its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River, large quantities of lead leached into the water supply and sickened hundreds of adults and children.

Lead exposure responsible for higher number of US deaths

At least two buses carrying residents -- including children holding plastic water bottles -- left Flint Wednesday morning for the one-hour drive to the state capital of Lansing, according to a tweet from a reporter with CNN affiliate WEYI.

The residents were expected to rally in the Capitol rotunda as state lawmakers gathered down the hall, according to a statement from rally organizers.

The state had been handing out bottled water and filters at several distribution points across the city as part of a $450 million state and federal aid package.

But the program will end when the current supplies run out.

Last Friday, residents rushed to the four remaining water distribution centers across the city to try to get a last batch of the government-funded water bottles.

"Bottled water may be ending but the state's commitment to the residents of Flint remains strong," said Rich Baird, senior adviser to Snyder, in a statement last week.

Nearly four years after the crisis began with the contamination of city's drinking water, many residents still don't believe it's safe to drink the tap water.

The switch of the city's water source to the Flint River was a cost-cutting measure. But water from the Flint River is 19 times more corrosive than that of Lake Huron, according to researchers from Virginia Tech, so lead from the water pipes leached into the supply and soon the water coming from residential taps looked, smelled and tasted odd.

High levels of lead in the water gave people rashes and caused hair loss, among other health complaints.

Children exposed to high levels of lead could suffer "damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems (e.g., reduced IQ, ADHD, juvenile delinquency, and criminal behavior), and hearing and speech problems," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Several local and state officials, including former emergency managers and water plant employees, have been charged with felonies. Some were linked to a Legionnaires' outbreak that killed 12 people during the Flint water crisis.

Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 92°
Robinson
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 91°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 87°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 92°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 90°
Brazil
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 92°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 92°
Showers and storms late this evening.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1388634

Reported Deaths: 25566
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook55620110461
DuPage923681316
Will769181032
Lake683491014
Kane59419807
Winnebago34106506
Madison30930526
McHenry29182294
St. Clair28316519
Peoria23443342
Champaign21100154
Sangamon19094240
McLean18553187
Tazewell17227305
Rock Island15245329
Kankakee14550217
Kendall1327899
LaSalle12779250
Macon10997211
DeKalb10116121
Vermilion10021142
Adams8677126
Williamson7595134
Whiteside7199174
Boone683677
Ogle620683
Grundy598678
Clinton578991
Coles5770100
Knox5642153
Jackson510065
Henry507870
Livingston489691
Woodford483282
Stephenson481985
Macoupin478288
Effingham476872
Franklin454178
Marion4513117
Jefferson4422122
Monroe438094
Lee419354
Randolph416487
Fulton405159
Logan396964
Morgan393482
Christian383875
Montgomery379474
Bureau378383
Fayette322555
Perry320360
Iroquois313867
McDonough290851
Jersey271652
Douglas260636
Saline260357
Lawrence241127
Shelby232638
Union228141
Crawford214525
Bond208724
Cass203527
Ford188948
Warren184148
Clark183733
Jo Daviess182724
Pike181853
Wayne181053
Hancock180631
Carroll178337
Richland176940
Edgar176740
White170626
Washington164825
Moultrie163128
De Witt157229
Mason154145
Piatt152414
Clay149643
Mercer149334
Johnson147616
Greene145134
Massac135840
Wabash135612
Cumberland130119
Menard125012
Jasper116718
Marshall108119
Hamilton84215
Schuyler7797
Brown7286
Pulaski7007
Stark64824
Edwards57712
Calhoun5302
Henderson52814
Scott4881
Putnam4863
Alexander47411
Gallatin4694
Hardin39112
Pope3284
Out of IL350
Unassigned02433

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 751242

Reported Deaths: 13795
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1032931788
Lake556911009
Allen41692692
St. Joseph36990565
Hamilton36588417
Elkhart29398461
Tippecanoe22901226
Vanderburgh22556400
Porter19356325
Johnson18471389
Hendricks17682317
Clark13226195
Madison13149344
Vigo12614253
LaPorte12419221
Monroe12207176
Delaware10966198
Howard10321225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8576146
Bartholomew8169157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7811180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6966103
Morgan6761141
Dubois6218118
Marshall6209116
Cass6016110
Henry5900110
Dearborn589878
Noble581488
Jackson509076
Shelby501496
Lawrence4742122
Gibson444894
Clinton442355
Harrison441875
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438090
Whitley406543
Huntington402681
Steuben400159
Miami395269
Jasper388054
Knox375991
Putnam372960
Wabash361983
Ripley347170
Adams345555
Jefferson335886
White331953
Daviess3033100
Wells295281
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246036
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228058
Fountain220948
Sullivan214643
Owen211858
Fulton202942
Jay200932
Carroll193620
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166246
Parke149416
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120647
Newton113936
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101714
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420