PAULA'S SOUTHAMPTON BLOG: Flint: "...Anger beyond words for all who live here and can't get out!"

Flint: "...Anger beyond words for all who live here and can't get out!"

Flint: "...Anger beyond words for all who live here and can't get out!"

I wrote this blog post below the other day, after I heard from my sister from her trip to Flint to see our brother who lives there and who is so sick from drinking the water in Flint for about a year.

I just saw a post she wrote on Facebook---her anger,  from watching this strong and healthy man crumble from the devastating effects of the lead and the Trihalomethane laced water is jumping off the page there.

She has had to take him to ER three times today alone. He is so gaunt and has lost about 50 pounds in less than a month. The hospital won't admit him until he has become so sick that he can't walk! The doctors are still trying to identify just what is wrong with him--they have no idea since his blood work  comes back normal. He did stop drinking the water a few months ago after he developed lesions on his scalp from showering in the contaminated water. Now of course there is more bottled water than you can imagine and even the President is going to go show his face there tomorrow! ...yet, still no pipes replaced!

I spoke to my sister this morning and her anger is bubbling to the surface and she can hardly contain it: "we've just had three trips to the ER in one day....funny never any health issues before now!....Anger beyond words for all who live here and can't get out!!!" would almost think she was talking about a person or people trapped in a third world country!

We must all be on alert---be very, very cautious about what you ingest, both in your water intake and your food...we are NOT protected as we thought we were!



Many of you may know from my blogging here on AR that I am originally from Michigan---I moved from Flint Michigan to New York city in the 80's and then the Hamptons in the late 90's.

When I was living in Flint, Michigan there were 200k in population. After I left Flint and moved to the Big Apple, the population of Flint shrank to 100k. It happened when GM closed 12 auto plants there---Flint is a city that was built in the 30'and 40's to accommodate the lives and lively-hoods of the people who worked for the huge Auto maker, General Motors.

Flint is also the city that Michael Moore focused on in his documentary film about the CEO of GM, "Roger and Me", and how General Motors uprooted the lives of so many people in that area when they closed down so many factories.

Michael Moore made a fortune on his film and to this day lives a very cushy life in Hollywood from the proceeds of that film.

These GM factories and all associated businesses such as AC Spark Plug and many others were all closed down in a relatively short period of time to open factories in other countries. So much for the middle class population of was devastating to live there and my brother, a member of the Flint Police Force, had a career that careened out of control as drug dealing, violence and crime took over the once vibrant city.  

As he neared his 50th birthday, my brother decided it was time to take early retirement and leave the awful environment called Flint.  However, when it came to selling his home, he found that it was worth a fraction of what he had paid for it.   That in combination with the 2008 financial downturn, made his home almost worthless unless he lived in it. Meanwhile Detroit went bankrupt and Flint was well on it's way.

Now, the water crisis:

3 months ago I got a call from my sister asking me if I had heard the news report on the Flint water crisis. I had heard of a water problem in the Flint area, related to a change in the water source....a change from Detroit water which comes from port Huron to Flint River water.

I called my brother and found out that the change had been done a year earlier and the city had not used the proper chemicals to keep the lead from leaching from the old pipes to the into the drinking water. All who drank it for a year were potentially harmed. He had actually been alerted to potential problems when he discovered lesions on his head and he thought it was possibly his water. He began to buy bottled water but still needed to shower--he thought.

So, before the public was officially alerted and more than a year after the Flint River was connected to everybodys home in Flint, my brother began to get sick. He lost his hair--more than he had lost earlier in his life. His digestive system was affected as well and he began to find himself getting very weak. He developed  health issues of a man a lot older than he is...he literally began a major decline in his wellness. His cognition is still good but he is in a very fragile state and needs medical attention for all of his health issues.

When will the Government change the pipes now that they know what they have done to people? Still nothing has been done. Slowly the legal aspect of this disaster is surfacing and there is so much covering of behinds that there still is nothing being done!! 

As a family we are gathering around my brother trying to help out; he can no longer live in his home comfortably. Somehow we will have to get him out of there, if he will leave his home.

My sister is there now and my elder sister has driven down to Flint from Northern Michigan. I have closings this week and plan on going as soon as I can get there. I just ask that you pray for my brother. Please pray that he will once again be well and active again and that there is no long term damage to his overall health.

This Flint Michigan water crisis is a forewarning of what is to come in our country; I only hope and pray that we can get a handle on the failing infrastructure of this land and that something will be done soon!



                                     **ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY.  The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate


Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995;  Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York

Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005


Click here to see my Hampton's website to see all my listings; please email me or call me for all your real estate needs in Southampton, Bridgehampton and Watermill:



Comment balloon 5 commentsPaula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA • May 03 2016 01:23PM


That is just terrible.  Reminds me of that movie Pelican Brief.  Someone needs to do something.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 2 years ago

Paula you and your family -- and so many others -- are living a nightmare. i am so, so sorry.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 2 years ago

Belinda: Well you may have heard that the president is going there today--we will see if thre is any thing that he can do to make sure they start to replace pipes. Meanwhile the damage is done in this case and my brother is failing more and moe each day.


Lottie: It is such a nightmare and there does not seem to be anything that will be done! I keep thinking I am going to wake up and this will all be just that, a very bad nightmare!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 2 years ago

I continue to wonder how in a country as great as our's, that what happened in Flint managed to occur.  But, aside from that, we have aging infrastructure in this country, which probably doesn't isolate Flint, as the only place such disasters are lurking!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 2 years ago

Myhrl: I am on board  with that thinking and I also think one thing that MUST be done by all municipalities is to check their water daily, replace all lead pipes and start to replace all other infrastructure as soon as it shows signs of failure.

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 2 years ago