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Flint residents say water crisis has lasted "2 years too long"

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steve carmody
/
Michigan Radio
About 75 people gathered on the front lawn of Flint city hall to mark the 2nd anniversary of the city's ill-advised switch to the Flint River as the city's drinking water source

“They poisoned the wrong city, everybody!” one speaker shouted at today’s rally at Flint city hall to mark the second anniversary of the city’s mishandled switch to its namesake river as its drinking water source.

In 2014, the city started getting its tap water from the Flint River as part of plan to save the city millions of dollars. But the river water was not properly treated with anti-corrosives. As a result, the corrosive river water damaged city pipes, which continue to leach lead into the drinking water. 

For much of the past year, Flint residents have relied on bottled water and filters. 

Today’s rally drew a small, but passionate crowd. Many of those at the afternoon rally have been among the stalwart group of protesters demanding help and restitution for Flint residents for years.

Tru Saunders is with the group Citizens Standing Up for Clean Healthy Water. She’s disappointed that only a small crowd showed up to mark the anniversary.

“With … 99,000 people in this city,” Saunders said, “it really should be way more than this. This is your life.”

The protest drew local elected officials and volunteers circulating petitions to recall Gov. Rick Snyder, who many Flint residents blame for the city’s lead tainted drinking water.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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