Governor declares state of emergency for Flint

Posted at 8:23 AM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 11:49:39-05

Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency for Genesee County Tuesday due to the ongoing health and safety issues caused by lead in the city of Flint's drinking water.

By declaring a state of emergency, Snyder has made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery operations.

"The health and welfare of Flint residents is a top priority and we're committed to a coordinated approach with resources from state agencies to address all aspects of this situation," Snyder said. "Working in full partnership with the Flint Water Advisory Task Force, all levels of government and water quality experts, we will find both short-term and long-term solutions to ensure the health and safety of Flint residents."

In addition to the emergency declaration, Snyder activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate state response and recovery activities. State agencies will report to the center to coordinate resources, assess the situation and begin providing assets to assist with local relief operations.

"Our staff recognizes the urgency of this situation and is already working closely with local officials," said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. "We will continue to collaborate with state, city and county leaders to coordinate relief efforts, streamline communication and use all available resources to help residents."

On Monday, Genesee County declared a "local state of emergency," which activated local emergency response and recovery plans. By requesting a governor's declaration, the county has determined local resources are insufficient to address the situation and state assistance is required to protect public health, safety and property to lessen or avert the threat of a crisis. The city of Flint has been under a local emergency declaration since December 14, 2015.