Most Flat Rock residents given all-clear to return home after gas leak triggers evacuations

Gas leak came from Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant

Most residents who needed to evacuate due to a gas leak at the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant may return home, health officials announced Thursday afternoon.
Most residents who needed to evacuate due to a gas leak at the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant may return home, health officials announced Thursday afternoon.

FLAT ROCK, Mich. – Most residents who needed to evacuate due to a gas leak at the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant may return home, health officials announced Thursday afternoon.

The all-clear for zone one and zone two comes after recent sewer testing revealed safe vapor levels in the sewers. Some residents will still have to wait until they can return home though.

There were major concerns about benzene fumes in the sewer symptoms and worry those flammable fumes would seep into more homes.

“I am greatly relieved these are our people, my friends, I’ve grown up in this town,” Flat Rock Mayor Mark Hammond said.

Just a week ago, officials stressed that the air quality in all 1,100 homes in the two areas would be tested. That has changed.

“By combining the data from the sanitary sewer systems, the research that’s been done where the sewer systems run how they are connected and then the survey’s into homes they’ve been able to clear -- large areas rather than going individual, one by one homes, and making sure they’re all clear,” Hammond said.

Both Wayne County and Michigan health departments agree benzene levels in Flat Rock sewers remain low and they’re confident that most homes are safe.

Any resident who does want their home tested can request a test.


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Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

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