Cincy locals fill truck with water for Flint

Posted at 8:50 AM, Jan 23, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Three young people decided to hold a bottled water drive at the Kroger on 8241 Vine Street to benefit residents of Flint, Michigan, many who are left without suitable drinking water.

A truck was parked outside the Hartwell Kroger to collect as much bottled water as it can hold.That water will be transported to Flint, the group told WCPO - 9 On Your Side.

At the Cincinnati event Saturday, those helping out said they wanted to help people out with the basic human need.

"Those people are at the hands of the people that govern them, and they've been let down," Hartwell resident Bill Denzer said.

Joe Davis was lending a hand at the Kroger Saturday, too. For him, it's more personal -- he's originally from Flint.

"My family is still there, all my siblings are drinking it," Davis said. "It's very disappointing. I just hope that just is brought eventually."

Saint Mark Church in Finneytown is also accepting bottled water donations, representatives told WCPO.

President Obama signed an emergency declaration last week to give federal aid to Flint during the water crisis.

The tap water in Flint, population 99,000, became contaminated after the city switched its water supply in 2014 to the Flint River while a pipeline to Lake Huron is under construction.

The corrosive water lacked adequate treatment and caused lead to leach from old pipes in homes, schools and elsewhere, the Associated Press reported.

Flint returned to the Detroit system in October, after elevated lead levels were discovered in children, and could tap into the new pipeline by summer.

But officials remain concerned that damage to the pipes could allow them to continue leaching lead. Exposure to lead can cause behavior problems and learning disabilities in children as well as kidney ailments in adults.

Everyone is urged to get a free filter. The National Guard is distributing water, filters and other supplies.

The U.S. Justice Department is helping the Environmental Protection Agency investigate the situation in Flint. The state attorney general has opened his own probe, which could focus on whether environmental laws were broken or if there was official misconduct.