Sheriff's door-to-door water distribution continues

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FLINT (WJRT) - (01/11/16) - More than 1,000 Flint residents have been visited so far by a team of volunteers going door to door.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell has organized a distribution program to get bottled water and filters to Flint's hardest hit neighborhoods.

Pickell and his crews were out Thursday through Saturday. They were also out Monday. With the cold and snow, crews were moving a little slower, but still getting the job done.

Officers, UAW volunteers and paramedics knocked on doors on Flint's north side starting at 8 a.m. Monday - and caught a lot of residents by surprise.

"I couldn't figure out what was going on," said Dorothy Tippins, one of the people the crews helped.

That surprise quickly turned to gratitude.

"Oh, beautiful. I thought that was so nice, you know? That let people know that Flint still do good things,” Tippins said.

On Monday, Pickell had three crews out on the north side - a total of about 40 people.

"We're really running into a lot of people that are home-bound, they can't get to distribution points, they have mothers with maybe two babies, they don't have a means to get down to the distribution sites, so this door-to-door delivery is really a special thing,” Pickell said.

On Tuesday, Michigan State Police plan to start doing door-to-door water distributions, too.

"We need their assistance. There's a lot of work to be done and I'm sure we'll be coordinating our efforts with the state,” Pickell said.

The sheriff and residents agree that this is just a temporary fix.

"City of Flint, we ain't got too much money. So if the state help out, we can get the water back right,” said Sean Swanson, another person helped by the crews.

"What we're doing now is good, but it's a band-aid. What we really need is lead service lines have to be replaced,” Pickell said.

Pickell says his crews will stay out as long as it takes.

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