Buckling land in River Rouge has link to soil shift that destroyed a Detroit dispensary

Posted at 8:13 PM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-13 20:13:56-05

RIVER ROUGE, Mich. (WXYZ) — What caused the soil around a storage lot to suddenly buckle, shifting asphalt and concrete feet higher?

DTE Energy responded to the storage lot on Pleasant Street in River Rouge to investigate a soil failure on Friday, concerned it could impact the integrity of its natural gas system. It turned off natural gas to some industrial customers for safety.

“It is very concerning. Very concerning,” said Kimyana Hines, who lives in a neighborhood yards away from the lot that is buckling.

She is concerned about the shifting soil impacting her property or the railroad that runs right in between the bulk storage lot and her home, especially as we learned more about it on Monday.

“Chances of derailment, I do not want to happen,” said Hines.

A spokesperson for the Fort Iron and Metal scrap yard in Detroit says it paid to store recycled metal at an independent Bulk Storage Lot on Pleasant Street in River Rouge and has been moving the material off the site after learning about the buckling.

This is not the first time this company has been associated with a soil shift issue. Fort Iron is the company that was across from Stash Dispensary in Detroit, which was destroyed by a sudden soil shift in September.

City of Detroit COO Hakim Berry tells us Detroit just completed its investigation into what caused the ground to buckle in September at Dearborn and Fort.

“There was a pile of bulk material that was too heavy for the ground to sustain,” Berry explained.

Berry says climate change brought more rain, which changed how much weight the ground could handle.

“The business was in compliance. Our ordinances do not require weight as a factor. So these are some things we are updating in our ordinances as the earth is starting to change,” said Berry.

Berry said the City of Detroit is drafting an ordinance change to address this.

Back in River Rouge, neighbors want to know if their ordinances are strong enough.

“Hopefully something will be done about it soon,” said Hines.

River Rouge City Staff tell WXYZ they are investigating whether there were violations and will be looking at what they need to change to prevent this from happening again.