People vent over response to Ford fuel leak at council meeting

Posted at 11:21 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 06:24:09-04

FLAT ROCK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Residents of the Flat Rock community are demanding answers from city leaders after a huge oil spill drove more than 300 people from their homes.

The spill originated from the nearby Ford assembly plant and zones 1 and 2 of the affected area are still under a precautionary evacuation order.

Ford has pledged a million dollars to help those who are displaced, but many residents say there aren't enough resources and communication has been poor.

All those concerns were aired out in tonight's city council meeting.

Residents feel left in the dark and unfortunately, the people who could answer their questions weren't there tonight.

Many of the people who spoke called on Ford to do more to help residents and council members agreed.

Mayor Mark Hammond took the brunt of the blow as the people of Flat Rock tried to communicate their frustrations and fears.

Many of them are staying in hotel rooms at the moment with no timeline on when they'll get to go back home.

Local, state, and federal authorities are focused on mitigation efforts.

As of now, they say nothing is flammable but benzene, a byproduct of the fuel spill, could still be in the air.

Mayor Hammond says they are in the process of flushing out the sewer systems, which may cause discoloration in the drinking water. But he says it’s still safe to drink.

Bottom line residents want better communication and, more importantly, the truth.

The mayor called on county leaders to hold another public meeting tomorrow.

He says EPA, Ford, and the Michigan Department of Environment have been invited to attend.

That meeting will be held at 7 pm at Flat Rock High.