FLAT ROCK, Mich. – Health officials have issued a “voluntary recommended evacuation” for a Flat Rock neighborhood the potential risk from a gas leak.
Response teams began going door-to-door in the impacted areas Sunday. Officials said they are unsure how wide-spread the exposure could be as they do not have enough data yet.
Flat Rock residents demanded answers Sunday morning after state health officials warned of dangerous benzene fumes following a fuel spill at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
“Our main goal is to protect the people of Flat Rock,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.
“We don’t believe there is any imminent danger to residents at this time, but we are acting out of an abundance of caution,” said MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel.
About 10 homes, a business and River Heights Academy charter school have been evacuated so far.
Officials are focused on two areas. Residents in zone one are recommended to evacuate the area. Zone one borders I-75, Gibraltar Road, Cahill Road and Woodruff Road.
Officials are investigating zone two for potential exposure. Zone two borders Gibraltar Road, Sheeks Road, East Huron River Drive and Tamarack Road.
There have been no reported illnesses or deaths, but officials are recommending people in affected areas consider evacuating.
Federal and state officials are investigating. It could take weeks to determine if it is safe for families to return to their home.
Symptoms of benzene include dizziness, flushing, trouble breathing, chest tightness, headaches and weakness. Abnormal heart rates, seizures and death are possible.
Flat Rock Residents who smell gas are asked to call 734-782-2496.
More: Downriver news