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'It's A Little Too Late,' Say Flint Residents As Bottled Water Arrives From State

Water for Flint (VThomas)
Bottled water is loaded into a warehouse in Flint before delivery to residents. (WWJ/Vickie Thomas)

FLINT (WWJ) - Late Tuesday evening a statement released by Governor Rick Snyder said he was calling in the National Guard to help distribute bottled water and filters in the city of Flint.

While earlier in the day, volunteers and police were going door-to-door in Flint to distribute bottled water, filters and lead test kits to residents, in the wake of the city's water crisis. Michigan State Police Lt. Dave Kaiser says the weather isn't stopping them but did cause a bit of a delay.

"Let them know how serious we are taking this --even the snow and frigid temperatures - we are continuing to get them the water. We are trying," said Kaiser.

While grateful for the drinkable water, Flint resident Ray Jemison says the effort comes too late:

"It's a little too late. People have been drinking this water for years, it's messed up their system. We hope it can flush out --or more water testing -- someone needs to be held accountable for it," said Jemison. "Brown water, the color of the can, stuff like that, we have to buy water by the barrel but ran out."

Jemison says that the idea of drinking water from the Flint River has never sat well with him: "I knew that water was bad years ago, you know, cars and bodies, dogs, humans been in there it wasn't safe for nobody to drink."

Brianna Lewis a 24-year-old mother of a newborn has this message for the governor:

"Can you please just fix this? We can't drink this we can't cook with this -- we'll be real sick, we can't continue with this -- just fix it," pleads Lewis.

Residents say their water bill is $300 dollars -- for water they can't even drink.

Snyder declared a state of emergency in Flint over problems with lead in the city's drinking water, the same day federal officials confirmed they're investigating the matter that prompted a local public health emergency.

The city of Flint switched from Detroit's water system to Flint River water in a cost-cutting move in 2014, while the city was under an Emergency Manager brought in by Governor Rick Snyder.

The city switched back to Detroit's water in October after blood test found led in more children; but concerns remain, including how badly corrosive water from the Flint River damaged aging pipes.

Since that time Snyder has faced mounting pressure ranging from editorials on national news, to social media, including documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, and the entertainer Cher called Snyder a murderer in a highly publized statement online.

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