National Guard arrives in Flint to aid in water crisis recovery effort

Gov. Snyder called in National Guard on Tuesday

FLINT, Mich. – National Guard members arrived in Flint on Wednesday to aid in the state of Michigan's water crisis response effort. 

Gov. Rick Snyder activated the National Guard Tuesday evening to help distribute bottled water and filters in Flint, according to the governor's office.

There are seven members of the National Guard on the ground in Flint. They are hoping that by Friday they will have 30, maybe 40, soldiers on the ground. However, it could be a week before that happens, a National Guard spokesman said during a news conference Wednesday. 

"Our role will not be out in the neighborhoods at all. We're going to go to the fire stations and basically try to relieve the Red Cross volunteers who've been very supportive from the get-go on this," said Major John Keelean, of the Michigan Army National Guard. "We will have probably five to six soldiers at each of those five stations."

Keelean said there are 808 soldiers at the National Guard's post in Saginaw. 

The governor declared a state of emergency for Genesee County on Jan. 5 due to the ongoing health and safety issues caused by high levels of lead in the city of Flint's drinking water.

The mayor of Flint, Karen Weaver, declared a state of emergency on Dec. 14, 2015.

Dennis Muchmore, former chief of staff, sent a concerned email to the state health agency this past July fearing the state of Michigan was blowing off Flint residents' water system concerns. He has since resigned.

Synder was at the auto show in Detroit on Tuesday where he said that they took prompt action when they got the right information.

"This is part of my legacy," Snyder said. "I'm responsible for the entire state and our operations, but there are many other good things going on, and we're working hard to recover from the situation in terms of doing the right thing."

This is the second time Snyder has activated the National Guard. The first time was in May 2012 for the massive Duck Lake Fire in the Upper Peninsula.