|Photo Credit – NBCNews.com
Federal Assistance is on its way to Flint, as Michigan
Governor Rick Snyder (R) formally makes request
seven days after declaring the City under a State
Seven days after declaring Flint, Michigan and the City’s Toxic Water Crisis under a State of Emergency on January 5, Governor Rick Snyder (R) shortly following the conclusion of President Barack Obama (D) State of the Union Speech made a formal request for Federal Assistance.
Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Rafael Lemaitre, confirmed Gov. Snyder’s request on January 12:
FEMA has approved Gov. Snyder’s request for assistance and has appointed a Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator to support the state.
— Rafael Lemaitre (@FEMAspox) January 13, 2016
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsA late in the evening Press Release sent out by Governor Rick Snyder’s Office stated both the full resources of FEMA and the Michigan National Guard will be deployed to Flint dealing with residents immediate emergency needs, along with the American Red Cross Agency.
“Members of the National Guard are expected to start arriving in Flint as early as Wednesday to assist with response efforts and plan to increase to over 30 personnel by Friday.” the Governor’s office wrote.
“The support of the National Guard will enable American Red Cross volunteers, who have been staffing the water resource sites since Jan. 9, to join the efforts of the water resource teams going door to door in Flint neighborhoods to distribute bottled water, water filters, replacement cartridges and testing kits.”
Michigan National Army Guard (MANG) units are available to deploy anywhere in the State when a emergency need arise, within 72 hours upon request of the State’s Governor. It is unknown why Citizen Soldiers of the MANG was not called to duty by Governor Snyder to Flint, over the past 168 hours since Declaring the City under a State of Emergency.
“As we work to ensure that all Flint residents have access to clean and safe drinking water, we are providing them with the direct assistance they need in order to stretch our resources further,” Snyder said. “The Michigan National Guard is trained and ready to assist the citizens of Flint.”
The Governor issued an “apology” to Flint Residents on December 29 for Michigan Governmental Departments and his office failures to eliminate the Toxic Water Crisis reaching urgent emergency levels – after nearly two years of citizen complaints, December 29.
“When I became aware that the city of Flint’s water showed elevated lead levels and that the state’s handling of the situation was being questioned, I requested funding to switch the source back to the Great Lakes Water Authority and appointed an independent task force to identify possible missteps and areas for improvement,” Governor Rick Snyder wrote in a Press Release December 29, 2015.
“I want the Flint community to know how very sorry I am that this has happened.
Congressman Dan Kildee (D) who represents the Flint and Genesee County area, praised Governor Snyder move to finally call for Federal Assistance with the City’s Toxic Water Crisis.
“I have repeatedly called for the Governor to deploy the Michigan National Guard to assist in the Flint water crisis and I am glad to see he has finally acted on this matter. What is going on in Flint is a serious ongoing public health emergency.” said Representative Kildee.
“Flint needs more action and less talk from Governor Snyder. It is important to remember that this crisis was created by a state-appointed emergency financial manager, and it is the state’s ultimate responsibility to act and make it right, Kildee said.
Flint residents are the victims in this crisis and they deserve a more urgent response equal to the gravity of this crisis.”
Representative Kildee on January 11, wrote a third letter to President Obama asking for immediate Federal Intervention to assist Flint Residents obtain clean, drinkable water, along with granting assistance to address any long-term health and infrastructure needs.
After the State of the Union Kildee spoke with President Obama about the crisis in Flint, and pledged actively involved with the efforts.
“At the State of the Union tonight, I spoke to President Obama and reiterated my call for federal assistance due to the lack of a sufficient response from the state.” said Congressman Kildee. “I will continue to do everything I can to get immediate resources to help address this ongoing crisis.”
The request by Governor Snyder includes identifying all federal agencies that have programs, authorities or technical expertise which could be utilized in the ongoing response and recovery efforts in Flint.
Additional federal agencies may include the Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Army Corps of Engineers.
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