This is the daily 2-1-1 summary on the Flint Water Response for Friday, March 4, 2016
- Michigan Faith In Action is hosting a “Flint People’s Hearing” on Saturday March 5th at 4pm at Quinn Chapel AME Church 2101 Lippincott Blvd Flint, MI 48503. For more information, and assistance with transportation, please contact: Sharon Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (810) 422-1006. Additional information including información en español, and a comment form asking,” What do you think elected officials should know about the challenges facing Flint families because of our water crisis?” is available at http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/2115/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=18449
- The first lead service line was replaced today. The story received wide media coverage including The Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/articles/flint-set-to-begin-replacing-lead-pipes-1457121838
- Dan Kildee hosted members of Congress today for a community “Speak Out” forum at Grace Emanuel Church to hear from Flint area families. Full story at http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/michigan/flint-water-crisis/2016/03/04/congress-dems-flint-visit/81338788/.
- Mike Lee of Utah blocks Senate bill, says federal aid is not needed in Flint. PBS Newshour reports Lee saying, “The people and policymakers of Michigan right now have all the government resources they need to fix the problem.” Story at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/sen-mike-lee-of-utah-federal-aid-not-needed-in-flint-water-crisis/.
- Flint water situation raises questions in Boston. A Boston Globe editorial asks, “Can Flint Happen Here? https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/03/03/can-flint-happen-here/dY9mhD9reEPqpF7XstB7ZL/story.html
Central Michigan 2-1-1 has hired, trained and placed new staff on the phones to provide additional capacity to answer calls from Flint residents. Flint call volume appears to have stabilized between 120-140 calls per day. On a typical day 30-40 of these calls are to arrange delivery of water resources to homebound residents.
- Residents are asking if it is safe to use tap water in humidifiers. Flint Water Department has received several calls expressing concern about breathing aerosolized water contaminated with lead.
2-1-1 is working with DHHS to confirm if there is a potential problem inhaling water that contains lead.
REMINDER: In the January 26 Update, DHHS Medical Epidemiologist, Dr. McFadden, provided the following response regarding Legionella risk.
Q: Can Legionella bacteria be aerosolized and inhaled if people boil water on the stove or use a humidifier to humidify the air in their homes?
A: Boiling water is one effective way to kill bacteria including Legionella, so steam that comes directly from a source of boiling water will not contain live Legionella and is not a source for Legionella transmission.
Inhalation of aerosolized water droplets containing Legionella is one of the ways that people get legionellosis. In-home portable humidifiers are known to generate aerosolized water particles that can then be inhaled. Dirty reservoirs and filters in humidifiers can quickly breed bacteria like Legionella. Use of tap water for these devices is strongly discouraged. Most manufacturer guidelines specify that only sterile water should be used in such devices (including rinsing of humidifier containers) and they should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly to prevent bacterial growth and transmission of potentially-aerosolized organisms like legionella. If these devices are used, manufacturer guidelines should be closely followed.
- SEOC received reports of problems dialing 2-1-1 on Lifeline cell phones (aka Obamaphones). Investigation revealed there could be an issue for Boost, TRACPhone or MetroPCS customers making calls on the T-Mobile cellular network. T-Mobile was immediately responsive and is working with Michigan 2-1-1 to determine if there is any problem translating the 2-1-1 abbreviated dialing code to the standard toll-free line.
If you hear of any caller having difficulty reaching 2-1-1, please ask them to report the number of the cell phone used, the time and location where they were calling to email@example.com.
REMINDER: Anyone having trouble dialing 2-1-1 in-state, or trying to contact Michigan 2-1-1 from anywhere in the U.S. can connect to an agent by calling our toll-free number at 1-844-875-9211.
- UPDATE: Regarding ABC 12 report on local dermatologists providing free consultations: 2-1-1 Investigated last night’s ABC 12 news report on dermatologists providing free consultations for skin rashes and determined this is not a new service. The report was based on the protocol worked out between DHHS and 2-1-1 to connect residents to free professional assessment to address concerns about skin conditions attributed to Flint water. 2-1-1 followed up today with the 20 callers who contacted the service following last night’s broadcast to ensure they were connected to the appropriate assistance.
- The Attorney General’s Office investigates reports of potential scams. These can be reported to the Charitable Trust Section at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 2/29/16: The City of Flint Water Plant can no handle water sample pick-up/drop-off for homebound residents due to increasing demand. 2-1-1 is coordinating with the Water Plant to identify another option for serving these residents and will provide updates until we confirm a solution. In the meantime, please do not refer homebound callers to the Water Plant for assistance. Have them call 2-1-1.
- Related Issue: The form distributed with water testing sample bottles still states that samples must be returned to either City Hall or the Water Plant.
THIS NO LONGER CORRECT. WATER SAMPLE BOTTLES MAY BE RETURNED TO ANY OF THE FIRE STATION WATER RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION SITES.
- From 3/3/16: CAN FLINT WATER DEPARTMENT OR ANOTHER PARTNER CONTACT 2-1-1 WITH INFORMATION ON THE PROCESS FOR FORMER RESIDENTS TO RECEIVE A WATER BILL CREDIT?
- From 3/3/16: Seeking guidance on managing open wounds following recent surgery/injury. A few callers have contacted 2-1-1 asking about the safety of using Flint water to clean open wounds. 2-1-1 is telling these callers to contact their physician and advise using bottled water to cleanse wounds unless advised otherwise. CAN DHHS VERIFY THIS IS THE APPROPRIATE GUIDANCE FOR CALLERS?