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A local perspective of Flint, Michigan

BY JULIANA VERHAGE | STAFF WRITER
Whether living here on campus or back in her hometown, freshman Biology-Chemistry major Mackenzie Chappell resides in two of the places our country has declared a State of Emergency.

San Diego, California and Flint, Michigan share one common problem: water. A drought here, poisonous lead water there.

“It’s so sad because we have these huge lakes all around us,” said Chappell. “We have all this water and then I’m here in San Diego and there’s also a water problem.”

After attempting to switch from the Detroit water system to a cheaper option from the Flint River, residents discovered the water looked and smelled bad. High levels of lead were found in the blood of children and many were get- ting rashes from the water as reported by news sources like CBS.

“Once they switched from the Detroit water to the Flint water, the water was supposedly so acidic that it ate away at the pipes, so now the pipes are ruined” said Chappell. “Even now that they’ve switched back to Detroit, the water is still bad because of the piping.”

Chappell has lived in Flint for the past three years of her life and goes back home there when she’s not attending PLNU.

“The water has been bad since they switched it” she said. “We’ve just always been downbeat. Flint was the number ne most dangerous city in America in 2013. We’ve never had a good reputation. This is just kind of pilling on top of that.”

From the end of high school to this past winter break from PLNU, Chappell has lived with the bad water when at home in Flint. While many residents have found their water to look orange or smell bad, Chappell couldn’t even tell anything was wrong with hers.

“It looked like regular water,” said Chappell.

Chappell admits she wasn’t shocked when she heard the news that her water was poisonous.

“It’s kind of weird, but Flint’s been up there for some other bad things before. There’s shootings all the time, arson, and no cops. So many things get ignored in Flint just because we’re so poor… I was scared, but I didn’t really know how it affected me and affected my family.”

 

 

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Jordan Ligons

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