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Flint uses alert system for Easter egg hunt

<i>WNEM</i><br/>An Easter egg hunt is ruffling feathers
An Easter egg hunt is ruffling feathers

By James Felton and Hannah Mose

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    FLINT, Michigan (WNEM) — An Easter egg hunt is ruffling feathers, but it’s not the actual hunt that’s generating controversy; it’s the way in which the city of Flint notified residents.

A Flint City Council member said the city used its alert system improperly.

The city of Flint held its annual Easter egg hunt behind the dome at City Hall on Thursday, April 6. A notification about the Easter egg hunt was sent to Flint residents using Alert Flint.

Flint City Councilwoman Tonya Burns said she thinks Alert Flint, which sends out notifications for emergencies impacting the area, should not be used for Easter egg hunts.

“What’s disappointing is we just had pump station number five go down. Residents have raw sewage in their basements. Their furnaces are out. Water in some, one to three feet. And that’s what that system should’ve been used for. Alert the residents in that area about pump station number five, not an Easter egg hunt,” Burns said.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley sent TV5 a statement in response to Burns’ comments, which said the Flint alert system can be used to share both positive and negative information with the community.

Neeley went on to say, “The city of Flint water and sewer divisions, including all pump stations, have been operating at peak capacity and efficiency. It’s unfortunate that a city councilperson has been propagating disinformation about a pump station mechanical failure online. The fact is that all pump stations have been functioning properly. However, like many other communities throughout Michigan, our system was overloaded during the recent heavy rainfall. This act of God was beyond anyone’s control.”

As for Burns, she said she is trying to make residents impacted get the help they need.

Anyone looking to report any water emergencies should call 810-766-7202. To report sewer emergencies, call 810-766-7079.

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