Flint Water Crisis

Editor’s note: The litany of mistakes that caused lead poisoning in Flint’s drinking water – and responsibility for those gross errors – will be debated for years by investigators, lawyers, politicians, the media and the Michigan public.

No one is exactly sure how many Flint residents – especially young children – experienced elevated blood lead levels since Flint switched its drinking water source to the Flint River. The full extent of the exact damage on individuals may be impossible to fully determine, especially among Flint’s most vulnerable, low-income residents who already face many challenges.

Bridge Magazine’s coverage of the crisis includes a more than 30,000-word timeline, the most comprehensive published in one place, to date. It is intended as an informal public repository of all major public records relating to Flint’s water crisis. It is presented for local residents and a national audience looking to separate fact from fiction and understand more deeply the full dimensions of this man-made tragedy. A complete portrait of the Flint disaster will likely take many months of official investigation and years of litigation.

Full Coverage

Amid Flint’s water crisis, a quiet success story

Nov 19, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Flint has seen roughly 30 percent of its blighted homes demolished since 2014, exceeding the city’s goals when it received federal funds to fight blight.

Interactive map: Places with higher lead rates than Flint

Dec 10, 2015 | Bridge Staff

Check out cities across Michigan with high lead exposure rates, as well as rates in your neighborhood

Far from Flint, lead remains an irreversible scourge

Dec 10, 2015 | Mike Wilkinson

Lead poisoning rates have dropped dramatically in Michigan over the past decade. But in many cities and towns, child exposure rates far exceed those in Flint.

Snyder urges state to approve $28 million for Flint water crisis

Jan 21, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Gov. Rick Snyder used his State of the State speech to personally apologize for government’s failure to protect Flint residents from lead-poisoned drinking water, and pledge long-term support for those impacted

Who approved switch to Flint River? State's answers draw fouls

Jan 21, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Gov. Snyder, his supporters and appointees contend that Flint’s elected officials made the fateful decision to draw the city’s drinking water from the Flint River. Truth Squad shows you what the documents reveal.

Putting a price on fixing Flint, and cities like it

Jan 24, 2016 | Chad Halcom, Lindsay VanHulle

More than $100 million in state and federal money already headed toward Flint will help with immediate needs. But replacing aging, lead-based water pipes in Flint and other older cities will take time, and a whole lot more money.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE UGLY: Rating comments of public officials and experts on the Flint water crisis

Feb 4, 2016 | Bridge Staff

This Michigan Truth Squad gallery of quotes provides a quick public guide to nearly three dozen key statements attributed to public officials, government regulators, and other drinking water and public health experts throughout the Flint drinking water saga.

Disaster Day by Day: A detailed Flint crisis timeline

Feb 4, 2016 | Bridge Staff

This timeline seeks to present as complete a picture of the Flint water disaster as can reasonably be provided at this time from information currently in the public sphere

Where blame leads so far in Flint water crisis

Feb 4, 2016 | Bridge Staff

With Snyder taking the heat for the Flint crisis, an exhaustive review of available records shines harsh light on the state and federal agencies responsible for safe drinking water

Signs of trouble at MDEQ, years before Flint lead crisis

Feb 10, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

A 2010 federal audit expressed concern about shortcuts Michigan’s drinking water safety program was taking to save money. An expert testifying before Congress today concludes from the audit that water safety regulation in Michigan is “more broken than we think.

Empathy, action, truth: How crisis communications might save Flint

Feb 16, 2016 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Experts say the key to rebuilding trust is skilled crisis management, but that’s not happening in Flint, at least not yet.

What Flint lost

Feb 16, 2016 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

After more than a year of misinformation, Flint residents say they can no longer trust anything the government tells them. Paranoia? Or history?

Before Flint, a Detroit-area water warning system was allowed to crumble

Feb 16, 2016 | Chad Selweski

A state-of-the-art water contaminant warning system protected more than 4 million people in southeast Michigan. But a few years back, communities began to pull out of the network, to save money. After Flint, was that a mistake?

Seven reasons Michigan residents should ask questions about their own drinking water

Feb 17, 2016 | John Bebow

Safe drinking water is taken for granted by almost everyone who pays a water bill. But as recent events make clear, the state’s monitoring is hardly fail-safe. Don’t be afraid to wade in and investigate

Years of missed warnings before Flint River switch

Feb 17, 2016 | John Bebow

From the state treasurer’s office to the local water treatment plant, concerns about the Flint River went unheeded – with some of the most troubling leveled in the final days before residents began drinking the water.

The latest on what key Snyder aides knew about Flint and when

Mar 1, 2016 | Bridge Staff

The release of additional Snyder administration emails reveals yet more aides to the governor who were alert to potential dangers in Flint’s water long before emergency measures were taken.

How Snyder’s chief of staff wrestled with Flint, with few victories

Mar 2, 2016 | John Bebow

Dennis Muchmore’s deep experience as the governor’s point man did not translate into solutions for Flint’s water crisis. A year in emails.

Breaking: Report finds ‘environmental injustice’ in Flint water crisis; poor, majority-black population given inferior protection

Mar 23, 2016 | Bridge Staff

The task force, appointed by Gov. Snyder, finds state agencies, including Snyder’s office, were "indifferent" to residents’ concerns. The report is also scathing on impact of emergency management law. Read the full report here.

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