Updated: Macomb County in state of emergency following Fraser sinkhole

Jan 6, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Gov. Rick Snyder has officially declared a state of emergency in Macomb County, the Detroit News reports. This authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management, and Homeland Security Division to assist Macomb County.

Originally posted 9:06 a.m., Friday, Jan. 6:

Following a massive sinkhole in Fraser, Macomb County officials have declared a state of emergency Thursday and are asking residents to limit water use.

County Executive Mark Hackel has called on Gov. Rick Snyder to request state aid and federal aid.

"Due to the size and scope if the sewer main repair process, the population in serves, the the instability of the ground/potential for the sinkhole to spread and a currently obstructed sewer flow capacity we have an imminent threat to cause widespread and severe damage, impact the public health and safety of 11 communities and Selfridge Air National Guard Base," Hackel wrote in a letter to Snyder, which was posted on Fraser Mayor Joe Nichols' Facebook page.

"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 our area and overwhelm the current emergency bypass sewer system that is in place," Hackel wrote.

In the meantime, the county is calling on residents to limit water use and posted tips on water conservation methods on its website. Communities affected include in Chesterfield Twp., Clinton Twp., Fraser, Harrison Twp., Lenox Twp., Macomb Twp., New Haven, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Shelby Twp., Sterling Heights, Utica, and Washington Twp. are requested to reduce their overall water usage during repairs to a sewer pipeline in Fraser.

The 100-foot-wide, 300-foot-long sinkhole emerged in Fraser on Christmas Eve, and has so far caused three houses to be condemned and has displaced the occupants of a total of 22 so far.

According to a Detroit News report, the sinkhole was caused by the rupture of the Macomb Interceptor Drain sewer under 15 Mile at the border between Clinton Township and Fraser. Construction of a temporary bypass could take up to four weeks to complete.