This is the daily 2-1-1 summary on the Flint Water Response for Thursday, February 25, 2016
- A bill appropriating $30 million to provide credits to Flint water customers will be signed by Governor Snyder in Flint on Friday, February 26. The appropriation provides for reimbursement for the estimated 65% of water bills that goes to customers’ personal use (drinking, cooking, bathing). Reimbursement will be retroactive to April 2014 when the water supply was switched to the Flint River.
- Flint Farmers’ Market will offer free nutrition information and cooking demonstrations focusing on foods that can help limit the effects of lead poisoning, especially in children. Hurley Wellness Services, Michigan State University Extension, and Flint Food Works are partners on the initiative.
- Upcoming cooking demonstration dates are March 1, 3, 8, 15, 19, 24, and 29; April 7, 16, 21, and 26; and May 5, 10, 21, 19 and 24.
- The Flint Farmers’ Market is located at 300 E. First St. in downtown Flint. Open year-round Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Activities and vendors information is flintfarmersmarket.com.
- There is a video on community nutrition at the Flint Farmers’ Market: https://youtu.be/vEBSRAbDwJo
- For healthy recipes, visit cookingmatters.org.
- A text alert notification has been set up for Flint to provide real-time updates on response efforts.
- Sign up by texting the word FLINT to 444-999.
- The MDHHS lead and Legionella information line will suspend operation on Monday February 29 due to low demand in recent weeks. 2-1-1 will refer calls with health lead and general health questions. The MDHHS number for reporting rashes and other skin conditions will continue operating Monday-Friday 8am – 5pm.
- Building effective teams for response work: The New York Times Magazine has published a story on research by Google on what factors contribute most to highly effective work teams. Well worth a read by response partners as we work together to support Flint during the response and recovery: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/what-google-learned-from-its-quest-to-build-the-perfect-team.html?_r=0
Call volume on was a bit lighter than average, which can be attributed to the weather.
Governor Snyder held a Tele Town Hall from 11:15 am – noon with Flint residents. State officials responded to a variety of issues and questions raised by residents including:
- Where to get free lead testing for adults
- ADULTS WERE TOLD TO CALL 2-1-1 IF THEY ARE TURNED AWAY BY THEIR PHYSICIAN OR HEALTH DEPT FOR LEAD TESTING.
- 2-1-1 HAS NO RESOURCES FOR ADULTS TO RECEIVE FREE LEAD TESTING. ALL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES IN 2-1-1 DATABASE INDICATE ADULT TESTING IS PAID BY INSURANCE OR OUT OF POCKET. PLEASE CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org IF YOU ARE AWARE OF FREE TESTING OPTIONS FOR ADULTS
- 2-1-1 will track and report this unmet need for follow up with SEOC and governor’s office.
- A resident asked what to do about water test results showing lead levels of 2 parts per billion in her home.
- The response to the resident stated, “When water was from Detroit, 2 ppb was average. This is probably normal background level.”
- A participant on the call asked 2-1-1 how does this statement align with other published information that no level of lead is safe. CAN DHHS/SEOC PROVIDE CLARIFICATION?
- What’s being done about copper?
- The state is also testing Flint water for copper – out of 12,000+ samples tested, around 200 had copper levels higher than what is considered safe. The state is inspecting plumbing in these houses to identify the source of the contamination and fix it. Risk from copper is lower than from lead – it’s a required nutrient, but high levels can be a problem. It can cause mild nausea at high levels. Best thing is to test water.
- Concern about lead exposure through bathing – a caller expressed a concern about a their personal perception that there is conflicting information about absorbing lead through skin
- Eden Wells from MDHHS said, “The greatest risk is drinking or eating lead which leads to absorption through stomach and small intestine. It is not advisable to bathe or shower for an extended period, mostly due to risk of drinking the water accidentally. Lead Absorption through skin is not considered a viable way to lead toxicity.”
- The state is working with the school district to replace all Water fixtures in schools
- Expect to finish replacements and flush out lines in March.
- Goal is to have drinkable water in schools by end of spring break.
- Will Flint residents get any of the jobs for work to address lead?
- This is a stated goal for state and local government.
- Orchard Services (?) and the Y have hired residents to help with canvassing. Local residents are hired and working now.
- 2-1-1 is working to verify if either agency is still hiring and, if so, what are their hiring needs?
- SCAM ALERT: A caller to the governor’s Tele Town Hall reported being approached by a solicitor at a local mall to provide personal contact information in order to receive a compensation check instead of a water bill credit.
- State officials confirmed that reimbursement for past water bill payments will be addressed through water bill credits only – there will be no direct payments to residents.
- The Attorney General’s Office investigates reports of potential scams. These can be reported to the Charitable Trust Section at email@example.com. The AG has tips on how to avoid falling victim to con artists at http://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,4534,7-164-17337_20942-375279–,00.html.
- From 2/23/16: Concern about getting in trouble for other issues during home lead pipe inspections. 2-1-1 received a call today from a resident who knows she has lead pipes that need replacement, but is concerned about inspectors coming into her home because of other (unspecified) potential violations that may exist. CAN A PARTNER AT SEOC PROVIDE GUIDANCE OR A POLICY STATEMENT ON HOW INSPECTORS ARE EXPECTED TO HANDLE SUSPECTED CIVIL CODE OR CRIMINAL VIOLATIONS OBSERVED WHEN THEY ARE LOOKING FOR LEAD PIPES? Based on the caller’s concerns, she is looking for reassurance that an unrelated violation will not be reported to authorities (excepting child/elder abuse).
RESOLUTION: SEOC provided the following statement , “Regarding the concern about getting in trouble for other issues during home lead pipe inspections, personnel doing the lead pipe inspections are not law enforcement officers or immigration officials. Further, the lead pipe inspectors are not code enforcement or inspectors.”
From 2/23/16: Social workers are looking for volunteer opportunities: The National Association of Social Workers-MI Chapter has identified several hundred members who are looking to make their professional services available to Flint residents as volunteers. They have been working with canvassers with political campaigns who have identified residents with unmet needs. The canvassers passed the needs back to the coordinator who is dispatching volunteers to deliver basic goods and offer material and emotional support. The volunteers would like to coordinate more formally with the organized response efforts and is looking for a local contact to help identify residents seeking social assistance and support. Can SEOC or Michigan Community Service Commission provide a contact or lead?