Flint-area residents seek $700M from EPA over water crisis


Resident John Bush said he expects to be drinking bottled water for some time.

"We have to use it for drinking," Bush said. "I actually think it will be quite a while before we trust drinking this Flint water."

The retired Flint school official said some people may never trust Flint water again.

Newborns and young children exposed to lead have the greatest health risks and the toxic metal in their bodies can cause life-long problems intellectually and physically.

Jamie Gaskin is the CEO of the United Way of Genesee County. He said dealing with the aftermath of this water crisis will go on for many years.

"We know between 6,000 and 12,000 kids, somewhere in there, have been exposed in this period of time to lead," Gaskin said.

He says children will need lots of resources which won't come cheap. So, the United Way is kicking off a fundraising campaign to raise $100 million over a 10-15 year span.

That number is determined by experts like Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Hurley Medical Center doctor who blew the lid off the situation.

"Those dollars are going to be used over the long hall to really try to help these families," Gaskin said.

He said it'll help pay for development programs and intervention help.

Experts believe those programs will be needed long-after the water problem is solved.

"We've mapped out and submitted to the state all the different kinds of things we think need to be done to give these kids the best opportunity to thrive following a situation like this," Gaskin said.

And it's clear this community wants the best outcome for children.

Bush said if it's anything like the outpouring of support Flint's received so far, the United Way won't have trouble meeting getting the money it needs.

"It just shows how people can band together in time of need, in time of crisis," Bush said.

Anyone interested in donating can at FlintKids.org.Copyright 2016 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.