Obama Meets With Flint Mayor Karen Weaver Amid Water Crisis

Obama has declared a state of emergency in Flint, Michigan.

ByABC News
January 19, 2016, 3:26 PM

— -- President Obama met with Karen Weaver, the mayor of Flint, Michigan, to discuss the city's ongoing water crisis, the White House said today.

"The President heard firsthand how the residents of Flint are dealing with the ongoing public health crisis, and the challenges that still exist for the city, its residents, and the business community," the White House said. "The President reiterated that his Administration will continue to support state and local officials in their response."

Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Weaver had met earlier in the day with White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

The White House has designated Nicole Laurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to coordinate the federal response to the Flint situation, according to Earnest.

The crisis originated in 2014 when Flint switched its water source from the Detroit supply to the Flint River to save money. The move was intended as a temporary measure until a new water line to Lake Huron could be built, but improperly treated water from the Flint River caused lead to leach from the pipes, officials said.

On Saturday, the president declared a state of emergency in Flint, a declaration requested by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) now has the authority to provide up to $5 million in federal aid for residents for the next 90 days.

President Obama is scheduled to travel to Detroit on Wednesday but will not stop in Flint during his trip, Earnest said. HHS announced Lurie will meet with state and local officials in Flint this week.

ABC News' Emily Shapiro contributed to this report