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Cher chips in to help battle Michigan drinking water crisis

Singer Cher performs onstage during the "Dressed 2 Kill" tour at Staples Center on July 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

FLINT, Mich. - Cher is donating bottled water to the residents of Flint struggling to obtain safe water amid a lead contamination crisis.

The entertainer and Icelandic Water are contributing more than 181,000 bottles of water to help alleviate what she called a "tragedy of staggering proportions."

The 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.

President Barack Obama has signed an emergency declaration clearing the way for federal aid and authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide water, filters and other items for 90 days.

Documentary filmmaker and former Flint-area resident Michael Moore returned to his hometown Saturday to call for President Barack Obama to come see the water crisis for himself.

Moore, surrounded by dozens of flag-waving and sign-toting Flint residents in front of the city's municipal complex, said he must "insist" that Obama visit on Wednesday, the same day the president is scheduled to tour the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Moore also asked the U.S. attorney general to arrest and prosecute Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, because he "knew that toxins, pollutants, and eventually lead was leaching into the water and being sent into the taps of people's homes."

The U.S. Justice Department is helping the Environmental Protection Agency investigate events surrounding what's been declared a public health and federal emergency situation in Flint.

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.

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