Cher Gives Flint, Mich., 180K Bottles of Water
Singer says crisis is 'tragedy of staggering proportion in middle of our country'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 17, 2016 5:50 AM CST
Flint, Mich., native Michael Moore drinks from a water bottle as he accuses Gov. Rick Snyder of poisoning the city's water on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016.   (Jake May/The Flint Journal - via AP)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Cher is donating water to the residents of Flint, Mich., as the city struggles with a drinking water crisis linked to lead contamination. More than 180,000 bottles will be shipped to the city starting Monday, according to a statement Cher released on Saturday. "This is a tragedy of staggering proportion and shocking that it's happening in the middle of our country," the Oscar winner said. Cher said she reached out to friend Brad Horwitz, who is an investor in the water company Icelandic Glacial. He contacted company leaders who agreed to double Cher's donation. The 181,440 bottles are expected to reach the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan starting Wednesday. The city's 100,000 residents haven't had safe water to drink since 2014, when officials began drawing water from the Flint River as a cost-saving measure.

Meanwhile, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore returned to his hometown to call for President Obama to come see the water crisis for himself. Moore, surrounded on Saturday by dozens of flag-waving and sign-toting Flint residents, said he must "insist" that Obama visit Wednesday, the same day the president is scheduled to tour the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Moore also asked the US attorney general to arrest and prosecute Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, because he "knew that toxins, pollutants, and eventually lead was leaching into the water and being sent into the taps of people's homes." The crisis prompted Obama to sign an emergency declaration clearing the way for federal aid.