LANSING – Gov. Rick Snyder today declared a state of emergency for Macomb County due to a sewer line collapse that brought a sinkhole in the City of Fraser.
“The terrible situation in Fraser has displaced families and caused a burden to those living in the area,” Snyder said in a press release. “The state is committed to using all of its resources and working with local partners to ensure this community recovers and residents return to a sense of normalcy. I’d like to thank emergency responders and the many others who have been working hard to address this situation.”
By declaring a state of emergency, Snyder has made available state resources in cooperation with local recovery efforts in the affected area. The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate state efforts.
Due to the size and scope of the repair process, the population it serves, the instability of the ground for the sinkhole to spread and a currently obstructed sewer flow capacity, there is an imminent threat to cause widespread and severe damage to 11 communities and Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Over 200,000 homes and businesses and over 500,000 residents and their property could be impacted should the ground shift, the sinkhole expand or severe weather impact the area.
Efforts have been underway by the county, city of Fraser and community to evacuate impacted residents, clean up the area and begin the process to stabilize, repair and replace the sewer lines to the affected areas. The county has activated its Emergency Operations Plan and local resources are being utilized to the fullest possible extent, however, despite these efforts, local resources are not sufficient to cope with the situation.
“We have been working closely with our local emergency management partners in Macomb County,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police. “Personnel from our Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division have been engaged with the emergency manager in the affected community since the sinkhole formed.”
Personnel in the State Emergency Operations Center are closely monitoring the situation and receiving updates from local officials as additional assessments are conducted.
Fraser has been under a “local state of emergency” since Dec. 24, which activates local emergency response and recovery plans. By requesting a governor’s declaration, the county has indicated local resources are insufficient to address the situation and state assistance is required to protect public health, safety and property to lessen or avert the threat of a crisis. The county made that request to the governor on Jan. 5, 2017.