Don’t Forget About Flint

Flint residents still can’t use their sinks for water

Miss+Michigan+steps+forward+to+the+microphone+and+prepares+to+remind+the+audience+of+the+problems+in+her+home+state.
Miss Michigan steps forward to the microphone and prepares to remind the audience of the problems in her home state.

Miss Michigan steps forward to the microphone and prepares to remind the audience of the problems in her home state.

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Miss Michigan steps forward to the microphone and prepares to remind the audience of the problems in her home state.

Lucy Garcia, Co-Editor

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“From the state with 84 percent of the U.S. fresh water but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma.”

SPECULATION: The words echoed loudly, piercing the ears of the audience. Pageant-goers shifted in their seats. They were in Atlantic City to enjoy a showcase of beauty, not to be called out for their ignorance on a seemingly unrelated topic. Nevertheless, Sioma’s words had power. They changed the energy in the room, if only for a split second. For a measurable period of time, everyone recalled that, yes, Flint, Michigan still does not have clean water. For how long has this gone on? They wondered.

Sioma stepped back. The next candidate introduced herself. The pageant went on. Audience members quickly forgot that Flint was even mentioned. After the pageant, headlines surfaced about Miss Michigan. For a few days, Flint was in the news again. People scrolled past the articles.

FACTS: Despite the fact that this situation began more than four years ago, residents are still unable to drink tap water. According to AP news, Flint originally began drawing water from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money. Residents quickly began to complain about the weird qualities of the water, namely the taste and appearance. They even reported rashes and hair loss. More than a year later, in September 2015, doctors found high levels of lead in the blood of children. In January 2016, a state of emergency was declared for Flint. The federal government provided some federal aid. The state of emergency eventually ended, and state officials said that they would be continuing to fix the drinking water.

Lawsuits ensued against Flint officials who had claimed that nothing was wrong with the water. According to Newsweek, Flint eventually switched back to its original water source from Detroit, but there are lingering problems. It is estimated that between 6,000 and 12,000 children were impacted by the contamination. The federal government is still spending $22,000 on water EACH DAY for Flint. Bottled waters are given out in schools. Kids are encouraged not to drink tap water. Senior Madi Lynch commented on why students should care about the issue. “You should care because real people don’t have clean water,” she said. “These people have nowhere to move because no one wants to [buy their home and] live in a place without water… They are trapped in a cycle.”

If you can donate anything at all to the cause, do so here. This is an ongoing fight for Flint residents.

About the Writer
Lucy Garcia, Editor-in-Chief

Lucy Garcia is Editor-in-Chief of The Herald and a senior at Wade Hampton. This is her third year reporting on staff and her second year as editor. When she isn’t editing, she spends her time swimming, stressing about her future, and memorizing useless facts. Her favorite place to be in Greenville is the planetarium on any given Friday night. Next year, she plans to go to college. There, she wants to soak in as much knowledge as she can and focus her studies on environmental science or engineering. One day, she hopes to play a role in increasing sustainability in cities. In doing so, she wants to save the world (and end up with the kind of life that movies are written about).

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