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More National Guard troops coming to Flint

Jan 16, 2016

The Michigan Army National Guard is expanding the number of soldiers handing out water filters and cases of water from 32 to 70
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan National Guard is more than doubling its footprint in Flint.

Major General Greg Vadnais says the number of guardsmen handing out bottled water and filters at five fire stations will increase from 32 to 70 on Sunday.  

Vadnais says after staffing the fire stations for a few days, they realized the need for more boots on the ground.

“In a lot of instances, we have a lot of elderly people coming through. We don’t want to hand them a case of water,” says Vadnais. “Our soldiers are taking it out and putting it into their vehicle to make sure they’re safe. So it just takes more resources.”

Also, the number of teams of state police troopers and volunteers taking supplies door to door is also expanding.    Volunteers visited nearly four thousand Flint homes Saturday, dropping off bottled water and filters. 

Flint’s drinking water is tainted with lead, after an ill-advised switch to the corrosive Flint River as the source of the city’s tap water.