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Top Flint Official Claims ‘Things Are Getting Back To Normal’ in Aftermath of Water Crisis, Residents Disagree

Lee Anne Walters pours bottled water in her home in Flint. Image courtesy of Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press.

Lee Anne Walters pours bottled water in her home in Flint. Image courtesy of Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press.

The persistent plight of Flint’s 100,000 some odd residents still grappling with the after effects of the water crisis has gotten lost, if not totally forgotten, in the daily news cycle. Every now and again, however, something pops up to remind the world that the issue is still ongoing.

This past weekend, newly elected Flint adviser Harvey Hollins told Birmingham CBS affiliate WIAT that things are slowly but surely returning to “normal” in the metropolitan Michigan city, whose water was severely contaminated when government officials chose to switch the city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the polluted Flint River.

“Things are getting back to normal,” said Hollins, who was recently appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to oversee the city and state’s management of the water crisis. “What needs to occur is developing and building trust. That’s going to be a long task.”

According to the governor’s adviser, normalcy is returning to Flint because local power has been restored, there’s increased state oversight of the crisis and the water is testing better.

Flint residents beg to differ.

Rap artist Jon Connor took to Twitter to voice his frustration and remind the world that Flint’s water crisis still isn’t over.

Others rallied behind Connor, urging people not to forget those still suffering in the aftermath of the crisis.

While conditions in Flint have improved, the complex issue of a contaminated water supply has yet to be resolved. Back in May, a top aide for Gov. Snyder revealed that the state might be $28 million short of where it needed to be to remove all affected water lines that led to the contamination of the water supply. The contamination also led to a spike in lead poisoning and Legionnaire’s cases in and around the city, with 2.3 percent of Flint’s youngest residents, aged 6 and under, showing signs of elevated lead levels in their blood.

Ex-supervisor in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Community Water Supply Program, Stephen Busch, vehemently denied any link between the 2015 Legionnaire’s outbreak and the water crisis, even after 12 people lost their lives due to complications of the disease, Atlanta Black Star reports.

Flint residents are still skeptical of how safe their water is, even after Gov. Snyder vowed to drink Flint water at home and at work for at least a month to show that the water quality had improved. Bottled water and home water filters have helped residents get by thus far, but the Snyder administration has yet to tell citizens when the water might be safe enough to drink/bathe in without the use of a filter, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“For over two years, the people of Flint have been drinking through lead-painted straws,” said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician credited with bringing the lead contamination crisis to the city’s attention.

Just last month, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow discussed the ongoing water crisis on her prime-time TV show, “The Rachel Maddow Show.” She has been covering the crisis since it began in April 2014, Romper.com reports.

“It remains almost unbelievable, almost unreal, that a good-sized American city doesn’t have drinking water,” Maddow said. “It’s additionally unfathomable that they still don’t today. The Snyder administration poisoned the town and wrecked the water pipes in the town more than two years ago. But in Flint, that just means that they’re in year three of this disaster.”

Local, state, and federal officials are still working to secure funds to replace all lead pipes in Flint, putting them one step closer at resolving the crippling water crisis.

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