April 2018 - Photos of the Month

On Friday, April 6, the state ended their free bottled water service to the City of Flint due to results of Flint’s water quality testing below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule. The remaining four water distribution centers known as PODS will operate until current supply of state-funded bottles run out. 

When this news hit the city and its residents it felt apocalyptic, especially because many of Flint’s residents still rely heavily on bottled water for drinking, cooking and bathing. 

Cars idled in long lines down several blocks near the remaining POD sites in hopes to receive the remaining cases of bottled water. 

Crews worked endlessly loading cases into the backs of cars. Eight cases per car. 

It was a madhouse. This is the first time I’ve been involved in Flint’s water crisis that wasn’t in a courtroom. It’s the first time I really got to speak with residents about how the crisis continues to affect them four years later. 

Water distribution employee Albrey Kirkland places water cases into the back of a pickup at a water distribution center on North Franklin Avenue on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in Flint. The state will no longer supply the City of Flint bottled water due to results of Flint’s water quality testing below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule. The remaining four water distribution centers will operate until current supply of state-funded bottles run out. Access and functional need deliveries will also close once water supply is out.

Cars wait in line for bottled water on Flushing Roads near a water distribution center on Pierson Road on Monday, April 9, 2018 in Flint. on Monday, April 9, 2018 in Flint. Two additional deliveries of bottled water are headed to Flint, extending the supply of bottled water for a few more days. Nineteen semitrailer loads are the last scheduled deliveries that have been purchased by the state and will be divided between distribution sites and home deliveries said Cathy Blankenship, vice president of development and communication for the Food Bank.

Lonnie Nelson gives his address to an employee at a water distribution center on North Franklin Avenue on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in Flint. Nelson has lived 10 years in Flint. He visits the distribution centers four times a week to bring water home to his wife and four daughters. They use the water for cooking, drinking, rinsing vegetables and brushing their teeth. “I’m scared to drink the water,” Nelson said. “It will kill us drinking out of that faucet.” The state will no longer supply the City of Flint bottled water due to results of Flint’s water quality testing below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule.

Christine Schaeffer sits in her car with her son Damarious, 10, at a water distribution center on North Franklin Avenue on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in Flint. Schaeffer visits the distribution center twice a week. She uses the water to cook, drink, clean dishes and rinse vegetables. She also urges her kids to wash their face and brush their teeth with the bottled water. To Schaeffer the idea of losing the distribution centers would be horrible. “I don’t trust it,” Schaeffer said about the water. “This damaged me for life.” She adds that she will never drink tap water from any city she lives in again. The state will no longer supply the City of Flint bottled water due to results of Flint’s water quality testing below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule.

Damarious Schaeffer, 10, looks out the window of his mother’s car at a water distribution center on North Franklin Avenue on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in Flint. Schaeffer uses bottled water to wash his face and brush his teeth.

Distribution supervisor Alice Thomas throws a case of water to Quaron Tylon at a distribution site on Dort Highway on Monday, April 9, 2018 in Flint. Two additional deliveries of bottled water are headed to Flint, extending the supply of bottled water for a few more days. Nineteen semitrailer loads are the last scheduled deliveries that have been purchased by the state and will be divided between distribution sites and home deliveries said Cathy Blankenship, vice president of development and communication for the Food Bank.

Flint resident Jamal Johnson, 38, sits in his car after picking up eight cases of water at a water distribution center on North Franklin Avenue on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in Flint. In 2016, Johnson began to develop a skin condition which he attributes to Flint water. His doctor prescribed him medication to treat his skin. Johnson now uses bottled water to wash his face. “They need to hurry up and fix this,” Johnson said. The state will no longer supply the City of Flint bottled water due to results of Flint’s water quality testing below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule.

Water distribution workers throw water into the back of a car at a water distribution center on West Court Street on Monday, April 9, 2018 in Flint. on Monday, April 9, 2018 in Flint. Two additional deliveries of bottled water are headed to Flint, extending the supply of bottled water for a few more days after the state announced it would discontinue the free bottled water service on April 6. Nineteen semitrailer loads are the last scheduled deliveries that have been purchased by the state and will be divided between distribution sites and home deliveries said Cathy Blankenship, vice president of development and communication for the Food Bank. Bronte Wittpenn | MLive.com

Flint resident Arianna Urbina, 10, watches as water is placed in her mother’s van while at a distribution site on North Franklin Avenue on Monday, April 9, 2018 in Flint. Two additional deliveries of bottled water are headed to Flint, extending the supply of bottled water for a few more days. Nineteen semitrailer loads are the last scheduled deliveries that have been purchased by the state and will be divided between distribution sites and home deliveries said Cathy Blankenship, vice president of development and communication for the Food Bank. Bronte Wittpenn | MLive.com

Water cases sit in a pile at a water distribution center on North Franklin Avenue on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in Flint. Bronte Wittpenn

on Monday, April 9, 2018 in Flint. Two additional deliveries of bottled water are headed to Flint, extending the supply of bottled water for a few more days. Nineteen semitrailer loads are the last scheduled deliveries that have been purchased by the state and will be divided between distribution sites and home deliveries said Cathy Blankenship, vice president of development and communication for the Food Bank. Bronte Wittpenn | MLive.com

Here’s are more of my favorite photos from the month.


A snowstorm hitting Northern Michigan is going to continue into early afternoon on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 in Flint. Bronte Wittpenn | MLive.com

Flint resident James Shepherd, 27, holds his daughter Julianah, 5, during the Flint water crisis four-year anniversary protest at City Hall on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 in Flint. “It’s more people being affected by it and less action,” Shepherd said. “We need the bottled water.” Shepherd uses roughly 30 cases a week to cook and bathe his two children. Bronte Wittpenn | MLive.com

Sophia Fletcher, 5, of Flint, stands next to a sign showing a picture of her grandmother Jill Robison’s kitchen faucet during the Flint water crisis four-year anniversary protest at City Hall on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 in Flint. Bronte Wittpenn | MLive.com

Portrait of Brooklyn Smith, 25, during a 420 event in Denver.

Portrait of Brooklyn Smith, 25, during a 420 event in Denver.

Portrait of Claudia Arenivar, 21, during a 420 event in Denver.

Flint resident Kerensz Harris, 44, grasps the hands with others while listening to a song performed during a protest recognizing the fourth anniversary of the Flint Water Crisis at City Hall on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 in Flint. “Four years later we still have no resolve,” Harris said. “It has got to be people over profit.” Harris continues to use bottled water in home. She uses the bottled water to cook, wash her and her daughter’s face as well as brush their teeth. Bronte Wittpenn | MLive.com

April snowfall in Flint.

Jacob Hoffman, 6, waits to roll pie crust during the annual Bake Fresh Friday at Carriage Town Ministries on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Flint. Bronte Wittpenn | MLive.com

Portrait of Flint fisherman James Coley

City outreach development liaison Aonie Gilcreast listens as Flint Mayor Karen Weaver discusses her meeting with Gov. Rick Snyder about his decision to discontinue the distribution of bottled water during a press conference at Flint City Hall on Monday, April 16, 2018 in Flint. The meeting with Snyder took place Monday morning leaving Weaver frustrated with his refusal to reopen the water distribution sites until all the lead and galvanized water service lines are replaced. “When we talked about the PODS the governor said that we need to get over it,” Weaver said. “This is a moral issue, this is an ethical issue, and the people deserve to be comfortable and have that kind of peace of mind and continue with bottled and filtered while we get through this process.” She adds if she has to take the state to court that’s what she will do. “We will sue them.” Bronte Wittpenn | MLive.com

Police investigate the scene of a homicide on the streets of West Moore and Donnelly on Thursday, April 26, 2018 in Flint. Bronte Wittpenn | MLive.com

Local activist Arthur Woodson rests his head during the ongoing preliminary examination of Dr. Eden Wells on Monday, April 23, 2018 at in Judge William Crawford courtroom in Genesee County District Court in Flint. Wells faces charges of obstructing justice and lying to a peace officer in connection with her handling of the Flint water crisis.

Portrait of Flint resident Michelle Rushing

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