The Big Picture

Flint water crisis

A state of emergency has been declared in Flint, Michigan due to the contamination of the city’s water supply. The public health crisis started when the water supply source was switched in 2014 from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money until a new pipeline was completed. Thousands of residents have been exposed to toxic amounts of lead including about 9,000 children who are the most susceptible to lead poisoning. State officials and the National Guard are distributing bottled water and filters to residents while they wait for a solution.--By Leanne Burden Seidel
1
Flint resident Andrew Watson, back right, drops to the floor in tears as Flint Police stand guard at the city council chamber doors, not allowing city residents to listen to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder speak during a news conference on Jan. 11. Snyder pledged Monday that officials would make contact with every household in Flint to check whether residents have bottled water and a filter while his embattled administration works on a long-term solution to the city’s water crisis. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
2
Flint resident David Peterson, 89, left, and his wife Ollie Peterson, 87, listen to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder deliver his State of the State address on television, Jan. 19, at their home in Flint. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
3
From left, Flint city councilman Wantwaz Davis, Abel Delgado and Arthur Woodson shout with protestors during a rally outside of the state Capitol during Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address on Jan. 19, in Lansing, Mich. The Republican governor pledged to fix the water crisis during his annual State of the State speech. (Sean Proctor/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
4
Maintenance technicians Mike Young, front left, and Chris Sprague deliver cases of water to residents on Jan. 19 at River Park Apartments in Flint, Mich. After weeks without water being distributed, the residents are finally getting bottled water delivered to their doorsteps for the first time by the Flint Housing Commision. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
5
Kyaira Donald, 6, of Flint, gets her finger poked to test her blood for lead levels, while at Freeman Elementary School in Flint, Mich., Jan. 12. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
6
Detroit resident Jaiden Ellis, 8, looks at stacks of free bottled water to be given to the congregation while the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a civil rights leader, discusses the ongoing Flint water crisis Jan. 17, in Flint, Mich. The water became contaminated after Flint switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River as a cost-cutting move. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
7
Water analysis test kits sit for Flint, Mich., residents to pick up for lead testing in their drinking water sit at Flint Fire Department Station No. 1 on Jan. 18, as members of the U.S. Army National Guard 125th Infantry Battalion wait to help residents. (Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press via AP)
8
Rick Catherman participates in a rally around Flint’s water crisis on Jan. 18 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder received criticism from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the Democratic debates for his handling of Flint’s water emergency, saying Clinton is making it a political issue. (Junfu Han/The Ann Arbor News via AP)
9
Ahmirah Porter, 9, stands silently behind a sign that reads “I’ve been poisoned by policy,” as she joins more than 150 activists protest outside of City Hall on Jan. 8, to protest Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s handling of the water crisis, Jan. 8 in Flint. Mich. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
10
Flint resident join hands in prayer as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, speaks about water in Flint at Heavenly Host Full Gospel Baptist Church, Jan. 17, in Flint, Mich. Jackson told a crowd at the church that the full effect of the lead contamination of the city’s tap water is not yet known. (Conor Ralph/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via A)
11
Justin Roberson (L), age 6, of Flint, Michigan and Mychal Adams, age 1, of Flint wait on a stack of bottled water at a rally where the Rev. Jesse Jackson was speaking about about the water crises at the Heavenly Host Baptist Church Jan. 17, in Flint, Michigan. U.S. President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Michigan, which will free up federal aid to help the city of Flint with lead contaminated drinking water. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder requested emergency and disaster declarations after activating the National Guard to help the American Red Cross distribute water to residents. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
12
St. Clair Shores resident Terra Castro wipes away tears as she takes a moment to reflect on the state of emergency in Flint while dropping off more than 500 cases of bottled water with about 20 Detroit-based volunteers on Jan. 16 at Mission of Hope Flint, Mich. “It’s overwhelming. The magnitude of the issue and the magnitude of love and compassion people hold for others is so apparent here. Our cities (Flint and Detroit) are very bold, helpful and caring. People who cannot afford to give water are doing it, even though they have issues of their own unresolved,” Castro said. “We’re a pretty rad state. It’s truly unfortunate that we’re surrounded by water with the Great Lakes and we have to worry about water in Flint.” (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
13
Michigan National Guard Staff Sergeant Steve Kiger of Beaverton, Michigan, gets a hug from Christine Brown of Flint, Michigan after he helped her take bottled water out to her car after she received it at a Flint Fire Station, Jan. 13, in Flint, Michigan. On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder activated the National Guard to help the American Red Cross distribute water to Flint residents to help them deal with the lead contamination that is in the City of Flint’s water supply. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
14
Judy Cowling shouts “Snyder’s got to go,” while participating in the Arrest Governor Snyder protest in front of the Michigan Governor’s new Main Street home in downtown Ann Arbor, Mich., on Jan. 18. (Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press via AP)
15
Shacoya Sykes, 21, left, and her brother Dionte’ Sykes, 24, haven’t had water delivered to their apartment since the federal emergency was declared on Jan. 19 at River Park Apartments on Flint, Mich.’s east side. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
16
Soldiers from the Michigan Army National Guard Flint hand out bottled water at a fire station, Jan. 17 in Flint, Mich. U.S. President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Michigan, which will free up federal aid to help the city of Flint with lead contaminated drinking water. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder requested emergency and disaster declarations after activating the National Guard to help the American Red Cross distribute water to residents. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
17
Flint resident Tony Palladino Jr.’s sign reads “Synder’s dirty little secret” atop a crossed out city of Flint on the map on Jan. 14 outside of the Capitol in Lansing, Mich., in protest against Gov. Rick Snyder, asking for his resignation and arrest in relation to Flint’s water crisis. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
18
Flint resident David Harris, 58, sits alone as he watches out the window upon arrival at the Capitol in Lansing, Mich., on Jan. 14 as he rides one of three buses with about 150 people from Flint and Detroit, gathering to protest against Gov. Rick Snyder. Protestors asked for Snyder’s resignation and arrest in relation to Flint’s water crisis. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
19
Samuel Smith is happy to receive a case of bottled water and a new water filter at his home on Mallery St. in Flint, Mich., as volunteers accompanied by Michigan State Police and Gennessee County Sheriff’s Deputies bring residents water filters and bottled water on Jan 12. (Dale G. Young/The Detroit News via AP)
20
Beecher resident Bruce Stiers, left, waves an American flag as he and more than 150 people chant in protest against Gov. Rick Snyder inside the Capitol toward an open door where the Michigan House of Representatives meet, asking for his resignation and arrest on Jan, 14. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
21
LaShanti Redmond, 10, left, and her sister Asharra Smith, 6, hold onto their mother Charlene Mitchell, all of Flint, for comfort as they wait to get their blood tested for lead levels in Flint, Mich., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. The Flint Community Schools, the Genesee County Health Department and Molina Healthcare held a family fun night at the school to get children ages 0 to 6-year-olds tested for lead levels in their blood. The next testing event will be held at Eisenhower Elementary on Jan. 26. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
22
Maurice Rice organizes cases of water at the Joy Tabernacle Church on Jan. 11, in Flint, Mich. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder pledged that officials would make contact with every household in Flint to check whether residents have bottled water and a filter and want to be tested for lead exposure while his embattled administration works on a long-term solution to the city’s water crisis. (Conor Ralph//The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
23
Amando Saldana, Sr., 62, of Flint looks over a water filter given to him as members of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, the Sheriff’s Reserve and the Red Cross distribute free water filters and jugs of purified water door-to-door to residents on the city’s north side to help deal with the water crisis. (Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press via AP)
24
Flint resident Mike Hickey holds the hand of his daughter Natielee, 4, as they walk through pastactivists protest outside of City Hall to protest Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s handling of the water crisis, Jan. 8 in Flint. Mich. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
25
Officials with the Genesee County Sheriff’€™s Office and a work detail of people sentenced to community service hand out water filters and gallon jugs of water to residents of Flint, Mich., Jan. 7. Officials in Flint, which has been declared to be in a state of emergency, are working to address lead contamination in the water of the city, where 40 percent of residents live below the poverty line. (Brittany Greeson/The New York Times)
26
More than 150 activists protest outside of City Hall to protest Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s handling of the water crisis, Jan. 8, in Flint. Mich. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
27
Flint City Councilman Eric Mays demands action to hold state government responsible to further aid the city after Genesee County board Chairman Jamie Curtis endorsed Flint Mayor Karen Weaver’s request for a federal disaster declaration on Jan. 4. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
28
Flint resident Gladyes Williamson cries out through her tears to Melissa Mays, one of six plaintiffs, overwhelmed with frustration of the water issue and joy in the filing of a potential class action lawsuit against both city and state government officials on, Nov. 16, at the Holiday Inn Express in Flint, Mich. The lawsuit claims that these government officials violated constitutional rights providing lead-tainted water to residents, which lead to alleged developing health issues, including hair loss, depression and auto-immune disorders. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
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