Flat Rock residents encouraged to evacuate after high levels of benzene found in sewers

Earlier this week, city officials of Flat Rock warned residents of dangerous levels of benzene found in their sewers.

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Dozens of community members showed up at Flat Rock Community High school on Sunday to hear an update of the government's response to the hazardous leak.

"It’s been going on for four or five days; there’s a lack of transparency we haven’t really gotten the answers to a lot of our questions,, so that’s why we're here, " said resident Darrell Gore. 

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has recommended that people evacuate if I75 bounds their homes to the east, Gibraltar Road to the north, Cahill Road to the west, and Woodruff Road to the south. 

MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel says people could be at risk. 

"We don’t believe there is any imminent danger to the residence at this time; however, we are acting out of an abundance of caution, " said Hertel. 

The Mayor of Flat Rock, Mark Hammond, says they are asking 465 homes to evacuate, but the decision is completely up to the families. 

"We are going to be going door to door with information packets, and we are going to record your information as the residents and community members in the city, and we’re going to keep in constant contact with you, " said Hammond. 

Officials say The United Way is stepping up to help with evacuation efforts, which Ford is paying for. 

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is working with the city, county, and state to ensure people get answers to their questions. 

"What matters to me is that this community is kept safe, public health matters that they have the answers to the questions, that it be a transparent process, and while people are being kept safe they have a place to go," said Dingell. 

If you live in the area and need housing assistance, you can call The United Way at 211.