After months of delays, Gov. Snyder activates National Guard to aid Flint water crisis

Water protest

By Steve Neavling

Months after Gov. Rick Snyder ignored warnings of dangerous levels of lead in Flint’s drinking water, he is activating the Michigan National Guard to help contain what he conceded Monday was a health “crisis.”

Gov. Rick Snyder
Gov. Rick Snyder

The governor announced Tuesday he is sending about 30 National Guard members to Flint this week to help distribute bottled water and filters and arrange testing for lead exposure.

“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 press release.

“The Michigan National Guard is trained and ready to assist the citizens of Flint.”

Snyder, who has come under fierce criticism for his handling of the crisis, declared an emergency last week and is appealing to the federal government for help.

The crisis has prompted a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation.

Police also are investigating whether water documents were stolen from a vacant office in Flint City Hall after a recent break-in.

Elevated lead levels cause numerous health issues, especially in children.

“Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned. “And effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected.”

While under state control, Flint switched its water source to save a projected $19 million over eight years. But the water was contaminated with lead and fecal coliform bacteria, which the state downplayed for months.

Now Flint plans to reconnect to Detroit.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Ryan Herberholz

    I really dig the reporting, especially the numerous issues that mainstream media won’t touch, i did notice that you said flint plans to reconnect to detroit, I believe they switched back in october, but the effects of the corrosion are still tainting the water.

  • Gregg Wilczynski

    Snyder: Just die or go away!! Follow Gateway, wherever you sent it!!!
    You are the most despicable piece of trash my State has ever seen.
    It isn’t surprising that it took your investment advisors seven months to throw the citizens of Flint needed water, because you can’t make a decision otherwise.
    It would be great if the Federals came in and locked you up for life. The Flint water crisis is all on you, 100%.
    Let’s remind the citizens of my State what happened to the E M in Flint who made the decision to discontinue the Detroit supplied water. YOU appointed him the E M of the Detroit schools!!!
    Talk about total B S!!! You and your decisions!!!
    Or ……. stop breathing for five months and see how that works out for you!!!

  • bebow

    State bureaucrats and their minions took devastating liberties with Flint’s residents, because a large percentage of the population is poor and/or minority.

    Those dots need to be connected.

    Flint should be evacuated. There is no quick fix, and passing out water is ridiculous at this point.

    The state and the City of Detroit can dig for the deeper meaning in this situation and cease discriminating against poor and/or minority residents of Third World Detroit.