FLINT (WWJ/AP) – Flint’s mayor says she appreciates Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s order to activate the National Guard to help with the city’s water crisis, but that Flint will need more assistance.
Mayor Karen Weaver said in a statement Wednesday she’s glad the state is putting in resources, but it’s not enough.
“We need help in the form of supplies including water, filters and water test kits. We also need help distributing those supplies to get them in the hands of the people who need them most,” said Weaver. “We also need federal assistance as we continue to cope with this man-made water disaster.”
Lt. Col. William Humes said about a half-dozen National Guard representatives arrived Wednesday, ahead of a larger contingent that will help distribute bottled water, filters and other supplies to residents.
“I’m glad the State is putting in resources and we welcome the Michigan National Guard with open arms,” said Weaver.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has also approved Snyder’s request to coordinate a recovery plan.
Flint’s tap water became contaminated with too much lead after the city switched its water supply in 2014 to save money while under state financial management.
For more than a year, water drawn from the Flint River leached lead from old lines into homes after the city switched its drinking water. Exposure to lead can cause behavior problems and learning disabilities in children.
Flint has since returned to Detroit’s system for its water, but officials remain concerned that damage to the pipes caused by the Flint River means that lead could continue to impair supply. They also want to ensure monitoring protocols are properly followed.
The state auditor general and a task force created by Snyder have faulted the Department of Environmental Quality for not requiring Flint to treat the river water for corrosion and belittling the public’s fears. The agency’s director stepped down last month.
The task force also raised concerns about a lack of organization in responding to the disaster.
Snyder, who has also faced criticism, said Monday that the water situation is a “crisis” and last week declared an emergency.
The Republican said that since October, more than 12,000 filters have been distributed, more than 2,000 blood tests have been done — uncovering 43 cases of elevated lead levels — and more than 700 water tests have been conducted.
TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.