Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared states of emergency in Lapeer County, Macomb County, Oakland County and St. Clair County following the rupture of the pipe water near the Great Lakes Water Authority substation.
The rupture prompted a boil water advisory for several Michigan communities.
“We are leveraging all the resources at our disposal and taking all necessary steps to ensure affected families receive the help they need,” Whitmer said in a statement.
The Whitmer Emergency Declaration makes available several state resources and organizations to assist local response and recovery efforts. These include the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management Division, and Homeland Security.
Seven cities are still under boil water advisories after a water main break was reported on Saturday, August 13.
According to the Great Lakes Water Authority, repairs and water quality testing can take up to two weeks.
Whitmer also activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center, after a ruptured pipe was discovered at a 120-inch Lake Huron water treatment facility.
Enabling SEOC “will ensure that all state resources are available to support local communities, if needed,” according to a statement from the group.
The SEOC is working to accommodate requests for bottled water and says it will take additional steps to ensure public health and safety.
In Macomb County, a temporary solution was developed as authorities were able to provide alternate sources of water delivery. And starting Monday, safe bottled water was to be delivered to affected municipalities for distribution to residents.
County Executive Mark Hackel said engineers were able to “reroute water flow” from the south to provide water to the three Macomb communities.
Bottled water comes from Michigan State Stores and Meijer, according to Hackel. It should be delivered to the communities on Monday.
“What we saw over the weekend was another incident involving the infrastructure that you see above ground and below ground,” Hackel said. “It’s a matter of concern because something like this could happen at any time.”
Repairing the broken GWLA will certainly cost millions of dollars and repairing the overall infrastructure of roads, bridges, water facilities and the like will require billions of dollars, Hackel added. And no one knows where the funding will come from.
Effective 11:30 a.m. on Sunday August 14, the townships of Chesterfield, Lenox, Mayfield, Macomb and New Haven were removed from the boil water advisory.
Seven municipalities are still under boil water advisories due to the main outage, up from 23 municipalities originally reported on Saturday.
These cities include
- Township of Bruce
- Township of Burtchville
- City of Imlay
- Township of Shelby
- Washington Township
The city of Romeo was originally added to this list. A later statement from GLWA says the advisory does not affect the entire city of Romeo, only the industrial park.
In addition, a business in Imlay Township and a business in Greenwood were affected by the water main break.