City officials provide update to water crisis in Benton Harbor

NOW: City officials provide update to water crisis in Benton Harbor

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. --- Residents in Benton Harbor have been told to avoid drinking and using all water over the past several days amid unsafe lead levels.

City officials provided an update to the crisis Wednesday advising two more water distribution locations will be added soon.

“The conversation I have with people is… When are we gonna get it fixed? How long will it take? What can I do with water?," said Jerry Edwards, City Commissioner.

More than 80% of homes in Benton Harbor tested, have unsafe levels of lead in their water.

“We are headed towards winter weather cars sliding in the snow and when we meet in the morning with the state and the lieutenant governor I’m hoping that we can go into a water testing facility and a water bottling facility," said Mary Alice Adams, City Commissioner.

The city has been providing residents with free bottled water - distributing 30,000 cases each week, going forward.

Distribution sites will soon be spread further with an additional 2 locations.

City commissioners have heard concerns regarding residents who haven’t been able to pick up any water because they can’t drive.

“There’s plans being put in place to have transporters, people who will be taking water to people who can’t you know get out. This plan is being put in place to make sure that they’re able served," said Ron Singleton, City Commissioner.

With some of the old lines not getting worked on until next month and no official sign on when exactly the crisis will come to an end, Edwards says it’s important for everyone to keep working together as a community during this difficult time.

“We as citizens including myself, we have to understand that you can’t wake up in the morning and put in 40 hours for that week and think the problem is gone. So we have to, I’m asking citizens to be patient and to help out wherever we can," said Edwards.

Water distributions will continue again Thursday at the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency from 4 to 6 pm.

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