Governor releases Flint water emails

Emails released from top Michigan officials on Friday show the governor’s aides called for a water system switch.

The emails show two lawyers in Gov. Rick Snyder's office urging top aides to switch Flint back to Detroit's water system only months after the city began using Flint River water in April of 2014.

"There were various flags but all of the dots weren't connected the way I wish they were," Snyder said.

The emails show Valerie Brader, Snyder's senior policy advisor, expressed concerns over the water in October 2014. This was around the same time General Motors stopped using Flint's water due to chloride levels. A release from State Emergency Manager Darnell Earley ensured the people of Flint back then that their drinking water is safe, despite a boil water advisory just two months prior.

"We had urgency on answering questions, the big problem was not having confirmation of the lead problem," Snyder said.

Emails from spring of 2015 show Snyder's former Chief of Staff Dennis Muchmore had explored the idea of buying water for Flint until the situation got "ironed out." He said "if we procrastinate much longer, we'll have real trouble." In another in July of 2016, he wrote, "These folks are scared and worried... They're basically getting blown off by us."

Also feeling blown off  is Jim Henry, environmental supervisor at the Genesee County Department of Health. He said back in March 2015, he noted that in previous years 10 Legionaries cases had been reported, but in 2014, there'd been 45.

"With the time frame of the Legionaries cases and the switch to the Flint River as the drinking water source, it needed to be looked into," he said.

Henry said he still doesn't understand why it wasn't looked into much sooner.