Crews continue to test air quality after gas leak in Flat Rock prompts evacuations

City officials work to reassure residents

While the leak from the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant has been stopped, the situation is still raising concerns regarding the environmental and health impact to the area.

FLAT ROCK, Mich.While the leak from the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant has been stopped, the situation is still raising concerns regarding the environmental and health impact to the area.

Testing continued in Flat Rock on Saturday and Sunday. There’s still a lot of work left to do to make sure the levels of gas in sewers and homes are safe as hundreds of people are still waiting to return to their homes.

The city’s mayor gave an update on the widespread testing in the city’s two evacuation zones.

“The testing is ongoing. Testing is happening in sewers and homes,” mayor Mark Hammond said. “It’s not complete. The testing will continue.”

Multiple federal, state and local agencies are working together.

Crews went door-to-door to test the gas levels in Flat Rock homes. Roughly 1,100 homes were evacuated as the gasoline line was plugged.

“Our goal was to just flush any fumes that were left in the sanitary sewer,” said city engineer Bruce Hammond. “And the reading after our flushing is the readings have gone way down almost to zero.”

Concerns have spread to schools and surrounding neighborhoods after some residents reported finding their tap was discolored.

“You’re concerned about our schools. As are we, our schools are continuously being monitored and they are, at this time, clear of contaminants,” Mark Hammond said. “But the testing will continue in our schools.”

“When people open their taps, they get a little bit of quality water, or brown water, but if you let your kitchen sink or your laundry tub faucet flow for a little bit, it will clear up,” Bruce Hammond said. “It’s not a danger to anybody and it’s that definitely not related to the gasoline.”

It is currently unknown when those who have evacuated can return to their homes.

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Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

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.