FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) - The Great Lakes Water Authority says almost 305,000 Oakland County residents are affected by the broken water main in Farmington Hills and more than 50,000 of them have no water at all.
A 48-inch water main broke near 14 Mile and Drake Monday evening, prompting officials to issue a boil water advisory for about a dozen communities. Several schools have also closed, and some patients at St. John Providence Park Hospital in Novi are being transferred as the facility has no water.
Those under the boil water advisory include:
- Bloomfield Township
- Commerce Township
- Farmington Hills - north of 696
- Keego Harbor
- Novi: city water shut off by Water Authority. Water being given out at Novi Civic Center to elderly residents and those in need
- Novi Township
- Oakland Township: specifically the subdivisions: The Hills of Oakland and Kings Pointe
- Orchard Lake
- Rochester Hills: north of Hamlin and west of Livernois
- Walled Lake
- West Bloomfield Township
Around 4 p.m., the GLWA updated the numbers and said 304,970 Oakland County residents were impacted and 51,380 don't have water.
"I can't believe it's all because of this break but everything inter-ties now so maybe that's what it's all about," nearby resident Mickey Kole said.
He lives just two blocks from the break and is obviously one of the 305,000 impacted.
The problem is far reaching and expands beyond homes, schools, and businesses but also to hospitals. The sickest patients have been transferred to other facilities, surgeries have been cancelled, and babies are being born in other hospitals.
"We had some c-sections scheduled that we had to reroute to other facilities today and quite frankly we will be doing the same thing tomorrow," said Bob Riney, COO Henry Ford Health System.
He says at Henry Ford West Bloomfield, patients are still being cared for while bottled water is being trucked in for patients and staff. The emergency room is still open to walk-ins but not ambulances. Other hospitals are stepping up to help.
"We've heard from other health systems that aren't affected saying let us know what we can do," Riney said they've been offered staff and beds to help out.
Henry Ford West Bloomfield is just one of the healthcare facilities forced to scale back. St. John Providence Park is facing the same situation.
"We are only doing emergency surgeries, we cancelled our elective surgeries just to be safe," said Margaret Klobucar, COO Providence Park.
Low water pressure means disaster plans are in place and patients are still getting the care they need.
"If patients still come to our emergency room, we're able and prepared to take care of them," Klobucar said. "
When a crisis hits, health care workers are at their absolute best," Riney said.
As the days go on without water, so does the concern.
"It'll get a little more stressed if days go on, where we're on boil water status, but we have contingency and backup plans and we have an entire system that's ready to support this facility," Riney said.
An authority at Beaumont Medical Center in West Bloomfield says services there may be affected on Tuesday. Call to confirm appointments scheduled there today.
WHEN WILL IT BE FIXED?
The Great Lakes Water Authority says the team has a new pipe ordered and expects to have a replacement piece of pipe installed by Wednesday night. Once that is completed, two rounds of water quality testing will need to be done before the boil water advisory will be lifted.
That means, right now, the earliest estimate for lifting the current boil water advisory is late Friday evening, October 27, according to the Great Lakes Water Authority.