City council to vote on state of emergency extension - WNEM TV 5

City council to vote on state of emergency extension

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This 2015 image shows a sample of Flint's water. (Source:WNEM) This 2015 image shows a sample of Flint's water. (Source:WNEM)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

The Flint City Council is expected to give its blessing to an extension of the emergency declaration in Flint Monday night.

The extension has already been approved by Mayor Karen Weaver. She called for a state of emergency last December and it was approved in early January.

Janice Berryman, Flint resident, said the water problems in her city are taking too long to get fixed. At this rate she wonders if she'll ever see the day when the water is safe to drink. She said the lead laced pipes are still a facet of life at her house.

"I had some rashes and if I come into contact with it there are certain places where I'll get them," Berryman said.

She lives in a home that regularly gets tested for lead and bacteria. Berryman said her home has consistently been above the federal action level for lead.

Berryman still relies on neighbors to get her bottled water and she still pays for large gallons of water for cooking and cleaning.

Melissa Mays, water crisis activist, said she and her family have also been adversely affected by the lead-filled water. She said progress could be made if the right legislation is approved for Flint.

"So there is a bill sitting in front of Congress right now. It's a $170 million for Flint for infrastructure and for help in general. Again, not going to solve all the problems, but we need these pipes out of the ground. We need the help and we need it now," Mays said.

The city council will vote on an extension that will continue the state of emergency in the city. Berryman said she hopes city administration will keep working on a long term solution.

"I'm hoping they will continue to and I guess we will just wait and listen to what the people have to say," she said.

Janee Tyus, with the Greater Flint Health Coalition, said more help is coming to Flint residents.

"We are hoping to get everyone out there engaged with the community, allowing them access so they know everything that is available to them," Tyus said.

She said the big issue when combating the water crisis is some people don't know where to turn for help. Many local leaders said they are looking for short term answers, but a long term solution.

State Rep. Sheldon Neeley said when it comes to the end of the water crisis, that could take a while. He said several key pieces of legislation that could fix Flint are currently in limbo.

"They are all currently stalled. The governor has to step up and push his party across the line that says this is something that can't happen here or anywhere else again. But actions speak louder than words and we need more action," Neeley said.

With no clear end in sight, Tyus said she hopes the summit will bring more clarity to what is out there when it comes to residents getting information, water filters and healthcare.

"The need is still, actually still extremely huge. A lot of people are unaware of the expanded healthcare benefits that they have available to them," Tyus said.

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