Flint mayor declares state of emergency over contaminated water

FLINT, Mich. - The mayor of Flint, Michigan, has declared a state of emergency due to problems with the city's water system caused by the earlier use of Flint River water.

Karen Weaver announced the declaration Monday night, saying Flint needs more federal help, CBS Detroit reports. Weaver says the move is intended to help raise awareness of ongoing problems.

Back in October, officials declared a public health emergency after tests showed the city's water supply was causing elevated levels of lead in children. Flint residents were warned not to drink unfiltered tap water.

Although the water, then being taken from the Flint River, was treated, it was still corrosive and released lead from old plumbing in thousands of homes.

The problem originated when Flint initially left the Detroit water system in the spring of 2014 as a cost-cutting move and began taking water from the Flint River. It was supposed to be an interim move, until a new water line to Port Huron is completed next year.

After the lead was detected in October, the city switched its water source back to the Detroit water system.

Ingesting lead may cause long-lasting health issues for children.

"Lead at any level can be associated with decreases in IQ, behavioral disorders, even an association with certain juvenile delinquency as these children get older," Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, told CBS News.

Flint mayor Karen Weaver was elected in November and promised during her campaign to issue the emergency declaration.