Flint resident to Elon Musk: filters would be Band-Aid on big open wound

- Billionaire Elon Musk pledged on Twitter to provide safe drinking water to Flint.

Residents say they appreciate the gesture and if it is sincere, they hope Musk is willing to listen as much as he is willing to help.

"This is the water bottle we use to cook with," said Sonia Banner, a Flint resident. "Washing our vegetables, meats, boiling our food with."

Three years after the Flint water crisis made national headlines, people living there are still wary of the water flowing from their taps even though the state says for the vast majority of them it's safe. 

"We have big bottles," Banner said. "You saw those gallon bottles it's the same thing we use to put in a bucket and take a bath."

FOX 2: "That's what they do in a third world country."

"I'm from a third world country so I guess I have to adapt," Banner said. "I've been living in America for 40-something years but you roll with it when you have to, it doesn't make it right."

"The confidence level isn't there so it doesn't matter what it looks like," said Flint Councilwoman Monica Galloway. "For them, they don't trust those that are supposed to be monitoring the safety of their water."

Enter billionaire and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk who vowed via Twitter to help those whose water is contaminated with high levels of lead. Musk plans to install new water filters in homes with high lead levels something many in flint already have.

Sonia Banner has a better idea.

"The problem lies with the service lines," she said. "So it's like putting a Band-Aid on a big open wound."

The city has been at it for more than two years. Musk's people have reportedly been in contact with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. The two plan to talk Friday.

Local activists on the frontlines of the water crisis say they want Musk to help replace interior plumbing in homes and replace appliances like hot water heaters.

They say the lead-tainted water has done a number on them as it has their bodies.

"I don't drink the water from that faucet and I don't cook with it either," said Barbara Kemp. "When I cook I use (boxed) water right there."

FOX 2: "They say it is safe now.

"I don't care what they say," she said. " 

Barbara Kemp says bathing in the toxic water has taken a toll on her skin.

"My skin (was never like) this," Kemp said. "I am kind of ashamed of my skin. My face all the way down to my legs and everywhere. I hate for somebody to look at me."

The water crisis has robbed people of their dignity, health and even their lives.

At least 12 people died from a legionnaire’s outbreak that stemmed from Flint changing its water source.

State Rep. Sheldon Neeley says the city can use whatever help it can get.

"As we go through this remediation of our psyche about what the water is doing, how safe the water is or not, we need some help," he said. "So filters are, if not a good measure, it's definitely a good placebo to get people back to drinking water inside the city of Flint that's coming from a municipal source."

Gov. Rick Snyder said through a spokesman that while they appreciate Elon Musk's offer, he needs to "get his facts straight" if he wants to help people in Flint move forward.

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