FEMA sends officials to help with Flint water crisis

January 14, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Health & Wellness

January 14, 2016

With our crumbling infrastructure and no plans by state and local officials to do anything about it, anytime soon, this could happen in any city in the United States. What a shame that because of the irresponsible actions of a select few, that many will suffer damage that will be lifelong.

LANSING — The federal government’s disaster relief agency has sent three officials to assist Michigan with the Flint drinking water crisis at the state’s request, but Gov. Rick Snyder has not yet requested federal financial aid in connection with the ongoing public health emergency, a Michigan State Police spokeswoman said Saturday.

Rafael Lemaitre, director of public affairs for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, D.C., said on Twitter on Friday that FEMA has deployed two liaison officers to the Michigan Emergency Operations Center to provide technical assistance. A third FEMA liaison officer arrived Saturday, a state police official said.

Capt. Chris Kelenske, deputy director of emergency management and homeland security for the state police, asked FEMA on Wednesday to send the officials “to provide support if we have any questions” about the emergency response process, MSP spokeswoman Nicole Lisabeth told the Free Press on Saturday.

But no federal financial aid has been requested by the state because local officials are still conducting assessments and “no requests have been specifically made from local officials that needs have not been met,” Lisabeth said.

Snyder, who declared a state of emergency in Flint and Genesee County on Tuesday, is facing criticism both for not declaring an emergency sooner and for not requesting federal financial help through FEMA. Snyder spokesman Dave Murray said Tuesday that under the law, Snyder could not declare a state of emergency until Genesee County did so. That happened Monday, one day before Snyder acted.

Stacy Parker Le Melle, an author with ties to Michigan, has launched a petition drive on urging Snyder to ask FEMA to provide aid directly to Flint. “We implore you to do your duty,” says the petition. “Help Flint residents get the relief they need!”

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