Obama Declares State of Emergency For Michigan Water Crisis

AP

President Barack Obama declared a federal state of emergency in Flint, Michigan in response to the water crisis that led to elevated lead levels in children, the White House announced Saturday afternoon.

The assistance will provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits and other items for no more than 90 days, according to the White House. The order also authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate relief efforts.

Gov. Rick Snyder (R) submitted the request Thursday after declaring a state of emergency for Genesee County, where Flint is located, on Jan. 5, according to MLive.com.

The water crisis can be traced to 2014 when the city switched its water supply in an effort to save money. It has resulted in elevated lead levels in residents, particularly children.

Snyder also deployed the Michigan National Guard to Flint to help with distribution of bottled water and other supplies to residents.

The state health agency also said Wednesday that it found an increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases over the past two years in Genesee County. It can’t be concluded if the spike is related to the contaminated water.

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