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State of emergency declared in Wayne, Monroe counties following detection of hazardous fumes

sewer cover on a road
Adobe Stock

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency late Thursday evening for the city of Flat Rock, and Wayne and Monroe counties. That's after an unknown odor was detected in Flat Rock's sewer system.

“We are working closely with local officials and emergency crews to investigate the source of these fumes and protect the safety of residents in the area,” said Whitmer via a press release. “My top priority is ensuring that every resource is available to the City of Flat Rock, Wayne County, and Monroe County to determine where the odor originated, so that we can clean up the affected area and prevent further harm. I’m grateful to the leadership in the City of Flat Rock, Wayne County, Monroe County, and all of the first responders who have been on the ground keeping people safe.”

Wayne County also declared a state of emergency for the city of Flat Rock. In a statement released Thursday, county officials say a hazardous material spill was detected in the community's sanitary sewer system on Monday evening. County officials say the spill did not affect drinking water, and say hazardous materials teams are on site, along with the state's environment department and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The Flat Rock community should be able to go to sleep tonight knowing that their homes and businesses remain safe, and that clean-up efforts are already underway,” said Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.

According to the governor's release, the local state of emergency "activates local emergency response and recovery plans." The governor's office says "the contaminant and source of the odor have not been identified" but says the leak has the potential to be explosive - and says several homes have been evacuated in the area. For more information on the impacted area, please see the Wayne County press release.

In a press release, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said, "Flat Rock residents who detect a strange odor similar to gasoline in their home should call (734) 782-2496." Residents outside of Flat Rock should contact 9-1-1 if they are experiencing any strong and unusual odors.

This is a developing story.

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