Here's How Bad Flint's Water Is

President Obama declares a federal emergency
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2016 3:02 PM CST
Flint's Water Woes Now a Federal Emergency
In a photo from Jan. 2, 2016, Rabecka Cordell picks up a case of bottled water outside the fire station in Flint, Mich.   (AP Photo/Roger Schneider)

Flint, Michigan's water woes are officially a federal emergency—nearly two years after the city took the money-saving move of switching from using Lake Huron water treated in Detroit to water from the Flint River. That water was found to be highly corrosive to lead pipes still in use in the city, causing lead to leach into residents' drinking water. On Saturday President Obama declared a federal emergency in the city of 100,000, thereby unleashing federal funding and authorizing FEMA to provide water, filters, cartridges, and other items for 90 days, per the AP and Detroit Free Press. Gov. Rich Snyder puts the cost of the aforementioned water distribution and filtering items at $41 million. More:

  • Sanders vs. Snyder: Speaking of Snyder, Bernie Sanders called for his resignation Saturday. "The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint's water. He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned."
  • Timeline: The AP has a timelines of the crisis, which dates to the April 2014 switch. Notable: In October 2014, a GM engine plant stopped using Flint's water, stating that it was rusting parts.

  • Visualized: The Washington Post has a jarring and informative series of graphics that illustrate "how toxic Flint's water really is." One family's water tested at a level that the EPA considers to be "toxic waste."
  • Every kid: The state's chief medical executive, along with the doctor who publicly called for Flint to stop its use of Flint River water, this week said all 8,657 kids under age 6 in Flint should be considered exposed to lead and treated as such, reports USA Today.
  • The residents' ordeal: The AP speaks with some locals. Rabecka Cordell and her 5-year-old son have lead poisoning; she also has leukemia, he has learning and speech disabilities. She refuses to even use the water to bathe.
(More Flint, Michigan stories.)

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