Whitmer declares state of emergency in several counties after GLWA water main break

Whitmer declares state of emergency for Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a news conference on March 11, 2022, at the governor's office in Lansing.

Update 10:42 a.m. Monday: The boil water advisory has been lifted for Chesterfield Township, Lenox Township, Mayfield Township, Macomb Township and the City of New Haven. Seven communities, including 133,000 people, remain under the advisory, including Almont, Bruce Township, Burtchville Township, Imlay City, Rochester, Shelby Township, Washington Township, as well as one business in Greenwood, and an industrial park in Romeo.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties following Saturday’s water main break near the Great Lakes Water Authority’s Lake Huron Water Treatment facility in Port Huron. As a result of the GLWA water main break, a boil water advisory was issued for several communities, including Rochester and Shelby Township.

“On Saturday, I activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate our response efforts, and with today’s state of emergency declaration, we are ensuring that state resources will be available as long as the impacted communities need them,” Whitmer said in a statement Sunday.

The declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate and maximize state efforts to assist.

Map of affected area after GLWA water main break Aug. 14, 2022
Image credit: Great Lakes Water Authority

The GLWA is investigating the cause of the break to the 120-inch water transmission main — the largest in the regional water distribution system — that distributes drinking water from its Lake Huron Water Treatment Facility to communities in the northern part of the agency’s drinking water service area. The boil water advisory was issued Saturday after the break was discovered. Communities that remain under a boil water advisory include: Almont, Bruce Township, Burtchville Township, Imlay City, Rochester, Shelby Township, Washington Township, as well as one business in Greenwood, and an industrial park in Romeo.

The advisory will remain in effect until the water is verified safe to drink. GLWA Water Quality will alert residents when the advisory has been lifted. Under the advisory, residents should not drink water without boiling it first. Residents must bring all water to a boil for at least 1 minute and then let it cool before using. Boiled, bottled or disinfected water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food until further notice, the GLWA said. More than 20 communities were initially under the boil water advisory, affecting 935,000 residents. The GLWA later on Saturday lifted the advisory for Auburn Hills, Clinton Township, the City of Flint, Flint Township, Lapeer, Orion Township, Pontiac, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights, Troy and Utica.

As of Sunday morning, water flow had been restored to communities affected by the water main break, the GLWA said in a statement. While it will not be at normal levels, there will be enough flow to use for sanitary purposes, officials said.

For more information about the water main break, contact Great Lakes Water Authority Water Quality by emailing waterquality@glwater.org or by calling 313-926-8192 or 313-926-8128.

 

Photo credit: David Eggert/AP

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  • Dorothy Hernandez

    Dorothy Hernandez is Digital Editor for 101.9 WDET, creating digital editorial content. Her love of radio began when she had a radio show in college when she and her roommate played '80s music in the middle of the night.