Film maker Michael Moore called on President Barack Obama to make federal aid available for the city of Flint which is struggling with lead-contaminated drinking water.
FLINT, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 16, 2016) (NBC) – U.S. President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Michigan on Saturday (January 16) and ordered federal aid for state and local response efforts in the county where the city of Flint has been contending with lead-contaminated drinking water.
The announcement came just hours after film maker Michael Moore led a demonstration in Flint calling for the White House to intervene.
Moore said he alerted the White House late on Friday (January 15) he would be meeting with residents of Flint.
Demonstrators chanted “Fix our pipes” and called for the city’s leaders as well as state officials to be held accountable.
“They knew that the people here did not have the political power to do anything about it,” Moore said.
Moore also called the situation a “poverty crisis.”
The financially strapped city was under control of a state-appointed emergency manager when it switched its source of tap water from Detroit’s system to the nearby Flint River in April 2014 to save money.
Flint, which is about 60 miles (100 km) northwest of Detroit, returned to using that city’s water in October after tests found elevated levels of lead in the water and in the blood of some children.
Obama is authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts there, the White House said in a statement.