FLINT, MI — A foreman at the Flint water plant warned his sister that the city was not prepared to treat Flint River water in 2014, telling her, “It’s not safe. We’re not ready. People are gonna die,” according to a new report from the PBS program Frontline.
In a story published online Thursday, Sept. 5, Tonja Petrella, the sister of Matt McFarland, who worked as a foreman at the plant until his death in 2016, told Frontline that her brother called her the day before the city’s water supply was changed to the Flint River in April 2014, warning, “Tonja, contact everyone you know in Flint, anybody you care about, and tell them, do not drink the water.”
Flint’s plant had not regularly treated water that was distributed to homes and businesses for decades, but state-appointed emergency managers made a series of decisions that put the plant into full-time operation in a failed attempt to save money by using the river as no-cost source water.
The story of Petrella and McFarland is part of am episode on the Flint water crisis that Frontline is scheduled to air on PBS stations at 9 p.m. […]