FRASER (WWJ) – Macomb County has declared an official state of emergency regarding the massive sinkhole in Fraser.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel wrote a letter to Gov. Rick Snyder saying that the sinkhole, which opened up last month along 15 Mile near Hayes Rd., could cause more damage and impact public health and the safety of nearby communities.

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With repairs estimated to cost tens of millions of dollars, Hackel says local resources are not enough to cope with the situation, so state and federal aid are needed.

[View a copy of the letter]

Vicki Wolber, the county’s Director of Emergency Management, says they want to make the governor aware of all these issues.

“I mean this is the only way that we can do that and…follow the proper channels and provide him with, you know, the appropriate information in the appropriate manner,” she said. “We’re following our guidance as we need to as far as the declaration process.”

Twenty Fraser families were temporarily displaced, three homes were condemned, and roads were shut down because of the sinkhole that formed when a sewer line collapsed on Christmas Eve.

Separately, Clinton Township has declared a state of emergency because officials say the damage from the sinkhole continues to affect a large number of residents.

Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon said the sinkhole could also impact the local economy.

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“We are on the north side of 15 (Mile Road); Fraser’s on the south side,” Cannon said,

“The last time this happened, many of the businesses in the area have failed because customers stopped coming. And that’s been a big push on my part is to make sure that everyone knows that 15 Mile Road is not closed,” he said. “But 15 Mile Road is open for business. It is only closed to through traffic.”

Cannon is urging both regulars and new customers to think of and patronize 15 Mile Road businesses in the next several months, while repairs on the sinkhole will continue.

These latest developments follow a state of emergency declaration by the mayor of Fraser on Dec. 26.

Meantime, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said they now believe they have a handle on the situation — and officials do not believe at this time that the ground is still sinking.

“I don’t think any more homes will be impacted if we’re successful in stopping the migration of the hole,” Miller said, speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950. “So what we’re doing there — and as I said we’re having pretty good success with that, fingers crossed — but we’re actually putting in grout if you will, pillars of grout in various places and this stabilizes the soil to make sure that it doesn’t continue to erode.”

Miller said that state and federal funds, if they do come, will be a great help.

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