Traverse City News and Events

Garfield Road Accident Prompts Closures Through Today, Health Warnings

By Beth Milligan | June 14, 2018

An early morning accident on Garfield Road Wednesday involving an overturned service truck that spilled 1,300 gallons of paint has resulted in road closures through at least noon today (Thursday) and a health warning for nearby waterways that could be affected by contaminants.

After the truck left the road and crashed into a ditch Wednesday morning, Garfield Road was shut down between Three Mile and Sharkey roads for the rest of the day. Cleanup and mitigation efforts began shortly after the incident occurred and remain ongoing, according to investigators. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Environmental Protection Agency, area police and fire, Grand Traverse County Emergency Management, and the Grand Traverse County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division have all been involved in responding to the accident.

According to authorities, a small stream and a private pond off Sharkey Road could be affected by the spilled paint. Due to the paint's toxicity, a warning to avoid contact with the affected surface water has been issued to nearby residents through the CodeRED emergency notification system, as well as individual visits to property owners. "There is not an immediate threat to drinking water, as known wells in the area are over 160 feet deep and are protected from surface contamination," according to the Health Department. "In addition, this stream is not a tributary to the Boardman River."

Any questions regarding wells or drinking water should be directed to the Health Department’s Environmental Health Division at 231-995-6051. Questions regarding the stream cleanup efforts or the effect of the spill on aquatic life can be directed to Jake Riley with the Water Resources Division of the Michigan DEQ at 231-429-3159. Traffic is being detoured on Three Mile Road to East Potter Road until at least noon today; only residents in the affected stretch of Garfield will be allowed through to access their homes.

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