Flint Man 'Dumbfounded' After Discovering Hundreds Of Bottles Of Water In Abandoned Building
“Just sitting in abandoned buildings in stockpiles,” Cowell said.
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In a Facebook video, Cowell shared that he and his partner came across stockpiles of bottled water sitting in the basement of a vacant school building behind St. Agnes Church. In the post, he noted that the water was sitting “from floor to ceiling, wall to wall.”
And now, the urban explorer wants to know how those cases of water were seemingly forgotten about, considering the city is still recuperating from a water contamination crisis.
“We were pretty dumbfounded that anyone could leave that much water behind that this city truly relied on,” Cowell told The Flint Journal. “If anyone wants to know where Flint donations went, it’s just sitting in abandoned buildings in stockpiles.”
Flint’s water crisis began in 2014 when city leaders switched the drinking water source from the Detroit River and Lake Huron to a cheaper option: the Flint River. Since then, residents have relied heavily on bottled water donations.The (now-vacant) school building where Cowell made his discovery was reportedly used to store cases of bottled water since the crisis began. According to The Flint Journal, a social media post from January 2016 shows that a water delivery campaign was held by two Grand Rapids-based radio stations outside the school building. The community joined together to donate bottled water, and the cases were then loaded onto trucks and delivered throughout Flint by local volunteers.
It’s unclear if the water Cowell stumbled upon is part of the same shipment that was donated in the Grand Rapids delivery campaign, but Cowell says the water is now spoiled.
"It hits home a little bit," Cowell told WXYZ News. "I could use the water for me, my kids, my dog – instead, they’re saying they are out of water, yet… they got three to four semi-trucks of water rotting for the last three years at least that we know of."
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New tests reportedly show improvement in Flint’s water quality, but Cowell still refuses to drink tap water, suggesting it “kills the plants and makes them yellow.”
“If it’s doing that to plants then I’m afraid of what it’d do to me,” he noted.
And yet, after his Facebook video, a few people messaged Cowell asking where the water is so they could access it.
“I’ve had to tell them they do not want it. They are probably just as well off drinking the faucet water,” he told WXYZ. "Sitting where it is, it's in a stagnant area. It's pretty moldy and nasty in there with the fecal matter and all the other molds."
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