Powdery Substance in Monroe Area was Fly Ash

MONROE COUNTY -- It has been determined that the powdery substance that rained on the area on Monday is fly ash, authorities say.

Detroit Energy had contacted the Monroe County Sheriff's Department and told them that on Monday night around 7:30 p.m., there was a release of fly ash from the Monroe Power Plant. Fly ash is the residue from burning coal.

Anyone concerned that they might have ingested the fly ash may call Detroit Energy at 734-384-2139 for more information.

When the ash was discovered, it was thought to have been dropped when a plane flew overhead on Monday evening.

People started reporting the low-flying plane around 8:20pm. The plane apparently flew over the Bolles Harbor and Avalon Beach areas, and it was thought to have dropped the white powder. Deputies collected a sample, and sent it to the Michigan State Police crime lab for analysis.

We talked to Howard Trombley, who says the top of his daughter's convertible car was down last night. When she woke up this morning, her seats were covered in the stuff. "The State Police know about it, and they're getting so many calls, they can't answer them all," said Trombley. "It's all over, it could be. You don't know what this is."

The department also notified the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is continuing its investigation. Once the substance is identified, Monroe County residents will be notified.

Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.

Updated by KO