(MPRN-Lansing) Governor Rick Snyder has activated National Guard units to go to work in Flint.
Guard troops will relieve American Red Cross volunteers who have been staffing distribution centers that have been handing out bottled water, filters, and testing kits to help address the lead contamination crisis.
“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 in a prepared statement.
“The Michigan National Guard is trained and ready to assist the citizens of Flint.”
The governor signed an executive order to activate the Guard. The governor declared a state of emergency in Flint on January 5. The state first acknowledged the drinking water crisis in October, after denying there was a problem.
The Red Cross volunteers will join the water resource teams that are going door to door in the city. The governor has also assigned State Police troopers and other government workers to the door-to-door effort. There’s no word yet on which units or how many Guard members are being called up.
Snyder also said he has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help provide resources to help Flint. Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint) says the development is welcome, but long overdue.
"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 in a statement.
“Flint residents are the victims in this crisis and they deserve a more urgent response equal to the gravity of this crisis.”