Courtesy NBC News

Another bailout - this time one of the country's biggest cities needs help: Detroit declaring bankruptcy after years of a financial free-fall, cash-flow problems, and nearly a month of negotiations between the city and its more-than 100,000 creditors.

We expect to hear from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder this morning who says this financial mess is 60 years in the making.

Detroit's emergency manager says bankruptcy is the "first step toward restoring the city."

Detroit is the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history 18 billion in debt and cash-strapped. "This was a very difficult and painful decision but if you look at it, there was no other viable option," said Governor Rick Snyder, (R) Michigan.

People across the country are now looking at the once-mighty motor city with its vacant homes and boarded- up businesses, fearing a similar saga in their town. "Well, they have had a lot of economic decline obviously and a lot of bad management before they had actual corruption going back 30 years," said Steve Malanga, Sr. Fellow, Manhattan Institute.

The city suffered a huge population decline, hundreds of thousands of Detroit residents fled in recent years

Another big factor, auto companies that began opening plants in other cities. Then the companies here collapsed taking the economy with them.

The city will have to sell off assets and scale back basic services, but they insist it's business as usual.

Still many are worried about pensions they were promised. "Every day you gotta wonder whether you'll get a paycheck," said Eveyln Glenn, Detroit Resident.

The case will be closely watched by states like Illinois and California which also have badly underfunded pensions. "Math wins - you cannot pay people money you do not have and that's what happened to Detroit," said Brian Wesbury, Chief Economist, First Trust.

It could take up to 90 days for the filing to be approved.

Melissa Mollet, NBC News.