‘I haven’t smelled anything’: Evacuated Flat Rock family returns home after zone 2 cleared by officials

Family stayed in tent in backyard

Weeks after being told to evacuate their homes, some residents in those evacuated areas of Flat Rock finally have the all-clear to go back home.

FLAT ROCK, Mich. – Weeks after being told to evacuate their homes, some residents in those evacuated areas of Flat Rock finally have the all-clear to go back home.

Like so many of her neighbors, Cassandra Moore spent about two weeks in a motel. On Sunday she decided to come back and set up a tent in her backyard. The next day zone two was cleared.

“It was like camping,” Moore said. “But it beat the motel.”

Living out of suitcases following the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant leak took a toll on the Moore family.

“I just told my husband, ‘I can’t do the motel thing again. We were eating out every day. It was just a pain,” Moore said.

After evacuating for weeks, even the treehouse in their yard was starting to look like an option. But the windows are exposed.

“I told him, ‘let’s put a tent in the backyard. We’ll sleep in the tent in the backyard and go in the house during the day off and on,’” Moore said.

On Monday (Sept. 20), authorities said it was safe for her to return to her home.

Ford has been providing evacuated families with hotel accommodations and food vouchers. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC used data from a dozen houses that had elevated benzene levels or gasoline odors to confirm sewer testing showed air levels in homes are safe.

“They said they cleaned out the sewers and it was safe to go back so I’m thinking I feel safe,” Moore said. “I haven’t smelled anything and I’m constantly going downstairs sniffing.”


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About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.