President Obama signs emergency declaration over Flint’s water crisis

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FLINT, Mich. — President Barack Obama has signed an emergency declaration for Flint, Michigan, that clears the way for federal aid to the city undergoing a drinking water crisis.

The White House issued a release Saturday calling for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts to “alleviate the hardship and suffering” on residents.

Flint switched water supplies in 2014 while a new pipeline was under construction and the corrosive water from the Flint River leached lead from old pipes.

FEMA has been authorized to provide water, filters, cartridges and other items for 90 days. Direct federal funding also will be made available.

Gov. Rick Snyder requested the federal declaration Thursday, saying needs “far exceed the state’s capability.” He says emergency measures could cost $41 million.

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