FRASER (WWJ) – The mayor of Fraser is calling on President Donald Trump to help prevent the 15 Mile Road sinkhole tragedy from becoming an international problem.
Mayor Joe Nichols said Trump owes it to the voters of Macomb County to fix the sinkhole, which was discovered on Christmas Eve by homeowners who awoke to find their house sinking.
“He ran his campaign based on infrastructure repairs throughout the country. Well, we have one and I have tweeted out several times now hoping for a response from his administration or even himself, because I know the president does use Twitter, and at this point it’s been crickets,” Nichols told WWJ’s Charlie Langton. “The president, you came here and we got behind you in Macomb County. Now we need somebody to come here and help us in Macomb County.”
Nichols is worried that the sinkhole could turn into an international problem if conditions continue to worsen without any relief. Back in December, Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon told WWJ Newsradio 950 that crews were forced to pump raw sewage into the Clinton River as a way to alleviate possible flooding in homes near the sinkhole.
“You impact 600,000 homes with a bio-hazard if you discharge sewage into their basements or their businesses, and you impact the waterways. What nobody’s talked about is this waterway joins Canada, Lake St. Clair runs right across,” said Nichols. “What happens when that starts floating into Canadian waters? It’s a serious problem.”
If the president can’t find the time to visit in person, Nichols said the least he could do is send financial aid for the city and impacted residents.
“We absolutely need money, cash is king. You need to fix this problem,” he said. “Estimates are rough right now, they’ve been between $70 and $140 million. I think the residents probably want the problem fixed so they don’t have to experience it again, which takes it to the higher number.”
At this point, it’s unclear if President Trump is even aware of the sinkhole in Fraser.
In the meantime, work is continuing on a bypass sewer line. Adequate repairs to the massive sinkhole are expected to take nearly a year to complete.
Most of the 22 nearby families forced to evacuate Eberlein St. have been allowed back into their homes. However, three homes were permanently condemned, leaving those families with nowhere to live.
Authorities say the sinkhole arose due to a sewer pipe collapse about 45 feet under the ground. Over 500,000 residents and their properties could be impacted if the ground shifts from this sinkhole, while a water conservation order remains in effect for much of the county.
Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency in Fraser in January after visiting the sinkhole and seeing the problem firsthand with Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candace Miller and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.