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Monday, January 24, 2022

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    Whitmer declares emergency in Flat Rock over hazardous fumes

    Lansing — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for the City of Flat Rock and Wayne and Monroe counties Thursday night as authorities investigate the source of hazardous fumes in the city’s sewer system.

    The governor’s office said “high levels of an unknown gas” had been discovered in the city sewer system and nearby homes. Through the declaration, the governor has made available state resources in cooperation with local response efforts, according to a statement. Wayne County Executive Warren Evans had asked Whitmer to declare a state of emergency in Flat Rock as a way to speed up cleanup and investigation.

    “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,” Whitmer said. “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.”

    The situation does not affect drinking water in the southern Wayne County community of 10,000, the county said in a statement. Evans declared a state of emergency on Wednesday evening. The odor was first discovered Monday, according to Evans’ order.

    County officials said they are still trying to “identify this flammable substance and locate its source.”

    “Out of an abundance of caution,” the county said, River Heights Academy and four homes were evacuated. Kids weren’t at the school at the time, the county said.

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