As awareness of the severity of the situation in Flint, Michigan grows, President Obama may be declaring the town to be a federal emergency, and therefore eligible for federal aid.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder called on the president to make the declaration on Thursday night in response to toxic levels of lead in the water which has already affected thousands of children living in the city.

FEMA and a few Michigan national guardsmen are already in the town, passing out bottles of water to citizens.

Meanwhile, Flint government has begun sending out notices to residents that they must pay their water bill or face a shutoff and fines. It has only been since October that officials advised residents not to drink the brown water coming from their pipes, though some are saying that officials knew about the dangerous water for over a year.

The rate of unusually high lead levels were recorded in the blood of children living in Flint, resulting in irreversible brain damage and learning disabilities. The lead was leaching from corrosive pipes pumping water from the Flint River.

The Department of Justice is investigating the decisions that led to this situation and we can only hope that those who knowingly allowed children and adults to drink and bathe in lead-tainted water will be brought to justice.

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at