Whitmer declares state of emergency for 4 counties after water main burst

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties on Sunday following a water main break near the water treatment facility at the Lake Huron from the Great Lakes Water Authority.

The 120-inch water transmission break initially prompted a boil water advisory for nearly two dozen communities on Saturday, and water officials say it could be around two weeks before until it is fully repaired.

Whitmer said the state is using all available resources to help affected families.

“On Saturday, I activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate our response efforts, and with the declaration of a state of emergency (Sunday), we are ensuring that state resources will be available for as long as affected communities need them. In times of crisis, Michiganders stand together. We will do what it takes to get through this,” Whitmer said in a statement.

Construction workers build an access road to an agricultural field in Burtchville Township on Sunday behind three 120-inch cement and steel fittings at the scene of a Great Lakes Water Authority water main break on Metcalf Road, one mile west of Lake Huron Authority.  Water treatment facility at Fort Gratiot.

The statement authorizes Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and the Division of Homeland Security to coordinate state efforts. Coordinators are on the scene with local emergency management officials and supporting emergency operations centers, Whitmer said Sunday.

“It is vital that our residents have reliable and safe infrastructure, our water infrastructure is critical,” said Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak.

Authorities were waiting for a part to fix the break, said Michelle Zdrodowski, a spokeswoman for GLWA. The repair will take about a week, Zdrodowski said, and it will take another week for water quality testing.

The water main break occurred about a mile west of the Great Lake Water Authority's Lake Huron water treatment facility at Ford Gratiot.

Zdrodowski said crews worked through the night trying to repair the damage caused by the burst water main, which was discovered early Saturday.

Crews have isolated the fault, which is about a mile west of the Lake Huron water treatment facility, and are “dewatering” the area in preparation for repairs. There are four 8-inch pumps working to drain the water, she said.

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