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State Of Emergency Declared In East Chicago After Lead Contamination

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (CBS) -- Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has declared a state of emergency for the East Chicago Superfund site. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the 322 acre area has lead in its soil.

CBS 2's Dorothy Tucker reports.

Candice Cobb is just one of many East Chicago, Indiana residents ready to leave the West Calumet Housing Complex.

"I took all the pictures off the wall," she said.

Cobb's family was among those targeted for relocation last July, after the area was deemed unsafe because of high lead levels in the ground.

Out of 332 families, 175 have moved and left behind a ghost town of empty and boarded up units.

East Chicago residents and Mayor Anthony Copeland welcomed Gov. Holcomb granting a disaster declaration to the city.

"It means the Calvary is coming," Copeland said.

Copeland has been asking for a disaster declaration for months. Now, he's happy that the state government heard the plight of area residents.

"That expertise and the unlimited type of resources that may be needed to solve this crisis, that door can now be opened," he said.

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