Donations used to replace service line for Flint family

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FLINT (WJRT) - (09/28/16) - Pipe replacements are underway in Flint, but as of Wednesday, less than 150 pipes have been switched out.

One family says they didn't want to wait anymore, so they raised money to hire to have it done. At the same time, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley tried to step in and help.

Keri Webber is celebrating her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with a new service line.

"This is the best gift there ever could have been," Webber said.

Webber says her home hasn't yet made the cut for getting a new service line from the city.

"Every time the list came out, we weren't on the list," she said.

So, her friend LeeAnne Walters, the mom who made Flint's lead problem international news, started raising money to hire to have it done.

As donations came in, Webber was invited to tell Donald Trump about her family's struggles at a campaign event in Flint. While she waited to meet Trump, she told her story to a man who she would later find out was Calley.

"I have a way of letting my emotions take off and running my mouth," Webber said.

Whatever she said, worked. Calley stepped in, calling the city to put in an emergency request to get her new pipes.

The city told ABC12 News they deemed her situation an emergency and sent a contractor out to do the work.

Webber says it was too late - she already hired another contractor to do the work, using the donation money.

The city wants to replace 1,000 lines by the end of the year.

The head of the pipe replacement plan in Flint, Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel, says they're working with computer analysts at the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor to target the most at-risk neighborhoods.

McDaniel says priority for pipe replacements are based on the following:

- Density of lead service lines in a given area
- High lead levels in the water
- Age of water (how long water sits in the system)
- Children under six years old living in the home
- Elderly over 65 years old living in the home



 
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