Gov. Snyder declares State of Emergency for Genesee County

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FLINT (WJRT) - (01/05/16) - Less than 24 hours after Genesee County leaders signed a local emergency declaration pleading for the state's help, Governor Snyder responded by officially placing Flint under a State of Emergency.

"I don't even know if people expected it to happen this quickly,” Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said.

This means the city can use state resources, like Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and the Homeland Security Division to help families struggling day after day with Flint's water problems.

"We're looking for cash. We're looking for resources. We're looking for services. Whatever we can get and identify needs as we go along,” Weaver said.

Snyder's emergency declaration comes the same day that Federal prosecutors and the Environmental Protection Agency announced they are investigating the problems with lead in Flint's water supply. The Department of Justice has not said if this investigation is civil or criminal, but the state says it's willing to cooperate.

"We never should've seen this terrible problem in the first place,” said Representative Dan Kildee.

Kildee also believes getting state resources to the men, women and children suffering right now should be the governor's top priority, and hopefully that will lead to more federal help.

"We need to get financial resources so that we can fund that traditional support. Early Childhood education, repairing and replacing those lead service lines. Those are things that don't require a lot of inquiry. We can start those right away and I hope, that this declaration of emergency, opens the door for those resources,” Kildee said.

While this is a great leap for Flint, leaders know there is still a lot of work to do.

"The easy part is that it’s signed and we have a declaration of emergency. The hard part is, is seeing a positive end result. An immeasurable, positive end result. And measured with progress as you go forward. Until that is done, it’s not over,” said Jamie Curtis, chair of the Genesee County Board of Commissioners.

Weaver plans on traveling to Lansing on Thursday and meeting with Snyder in person.

Weaver says she is not stopping there. The Mayor plans on taking this emergency to the White House.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D- Flint) released the following statement after the announcement, “ Leadership is ownership, and my hope is that today the administration will truly take responsibility for the disaster they created. It is beyond frustrating that the city I love, and the people who live in it, had to declare it destroyed before the state would act with any urgency.”

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