Ford sending $500 checks to every household evacuated in Flat Rock due to gasoline leak

The families in 1,200 displaced households will get $500 checks from Ford Motor Co. following precautionary evacuations from neighborhoods threatened by a gas leak in August.

The checks would total $600,000 in donated money. The announcement was made at a news conference Tuesday when Ford's vice president of sustainability, environment, and safety engineering spoke to residents.

The automaker also extended the closure of the Mustang assembly plant through Sept. 20. 

Residents still haven't been allowed to return to their homes due to widescale testing in homes and garages for any remains of toxic chemicals that entered the sanitary sewer system. The automaker has previously said 1,400 gallons of gasoline had leaked beginning no earlier than Aug. 26.

Chemicals were first detected on Aug. 30.

Since then, families have been staying at motels while environmental regulators and hazard monitoring officials have swept through properties to search for any excess fumes. 

The incident prompted the use of a million-dollar detection tool housed inside an EPA van. 

Mayor Mark Hammond has said residents may remain out of their homes for weeks.