Water

Obama signs emergency order over Flint water

Michigan Sgt. Steve Kiger, left, carries cases of water for a Flint resident, Wednesday Jan 13, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (Dale G. Young/Detroit News via AP)

Michigan Sgt. Steve Kiger, left, carries cases of water for a Flint resident, Wednesday Jan 13, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (Dale G. Young/Detroit News via AP)

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's city 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 Friday, saying needs "far exceed the state's capability." He says emergency measures could cost $41 million.