Health

Flat Rock residents grill mayor, council Tuesday night about gas spill

Flat Rock Mayor Mark Hammond and City Council members were grilled by residents Tuesday night after a gas spill last week led to evacuations: what’s happening with the city’s water supply? how do you access hotel vouchers? what about other assistance?

And when can we go home? 

Hammond offered a brief update and said the city will host a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday for residents to question representatives of state and federal agencies who are involved in the reponse. 

“To date we have 514 hotel rooms occupied and another 200 rooms available ot be filled,” Hammond said, noting that 1,100 homes have been evacuated so far between two evacuation zones identified by state health officials. 

Flat Rock Mayor Mark Hammond addresses the audience about a gasoline leak from the Ford Motor Co. Assembly Plant in the city during a council meeting Tuesday night.

Hammond told residents to call 211 for information about where to get vouchers for hotel rooms and gift cards for Target, Appleby’s and Meijer that are being distributed by Ford Motor Co.  

“Get on 211 and they’ll ferret it out,” Hammond said. “Call 211 and we’ll make sure you get a gift card from Ford.” 

A Flat Rock City Council meeting in the Flat Rock High School auditorium Tuesday drew about 100 people. More than 300 watched a livestream of the meeting on the city's Facebook page.

The meeting followed news that the benzene leak from a Ford Motor Co. assembly plant that pushed some residents from their homes can no longer be detected in some parts of the sewer system and there are only “trace amounts” in other pats, state officials said Tuesday.

Testing shows that the leak reported last week has resulted in no detectable fumes in parts of the sewer system, which is separate from Flat Rock’s drinking water system, said Jill Greenberg, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.  

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