Emergency declared in Flat Rock after hazardous material found at sewer treatment plant

Southeast part of city affected

Emergency declared in Flat Rock over hazardous materials found in sewer

FLAT ROCK, Mich. – An unusual smell Downriver sparked an investigation from hazmat teams Thursday, along with state and federal environmental agencies.

Flat Rock officials said if residents smell the odor or feel ill, contact them immediately and get to fresh air. The smell was first detected at a home and a sanitary sewer lift station south of Gibraltar Road.

Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans declared a state of emergency for the City of Flat Rock after a hazardous material spill was detected in the community’s sanitary sewer.

Read: Flat Rock investigating ‘unusual odor situation’ near sanitary sewer lift station

Crews from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy joined hazardous material teams from Downriver and Wayne County Thursday as they went street-by-street and door-to-door.

The odor was detected inside two homes in the Hickory Ridge subdivision. One homeowner said his house has been uninhabitable since Tuesday and crews continue to detect fumes in his home.

The spill does not affect the community’s drinking water. Officials did not say what the hazardous material has been identified as, just that it is hazardous.

Mayor Mark Hammond described the smell as “a sweet fruity smelling gasoline.”

Officials evacuated four homes near the treatment plant and closed River Heights Academy out of an abundance of caution.

Flat Rock Residents who find a strange odor in their home similar to gasoline should call 734-782-2496.

Residents in other communities should call 911 to report any strong or unusual odor.

Officials also requested that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declare a state of emergency for Flat Rock to speed cleanup of and investigation into the spill.

More: Downriver news

An unusual smell Downriver sparked an investigation from hazmat teams Thursday, along with state and federal environmental agencies.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.