A toxic water reservoir is seemingly about to collapse in Florida and could possibly cause a “catastrophic event.”
Over the weekend, residents in Manatee County, Florida, were forced to leave their homes after it was announced that a wastewater pond is on the verge of leaking “at any time,” CBS News reports. A state of emergency was declared on Saturday by Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis. A “significant leak” was found at the pond located at the former Piney Point phosphate processing plant. County officials warned people near the plant to leave immediately due to an “imminent uncontrolled release of wastewater.”
“A portion of the containment wall at the leak site shifted laterally,” said Manatee Director of Public Safety Jake Saur, “signifying that structural collapse could occur at any time.”
A drone captured Thermal images of “a number of sites” in the eastern wall of the pond where the leak is. The most significant leak continues to be at the southeast corner, CBS news reports.
The outlet reports that the Manatee County Public Safety Department sent out an emergency evacuation notice on Friday for those who were within half a mile of Piney Point. By 11 a.m., people were within one mile of the reservoir’s stacks of phosphogypsum were given an evacuation order on Saturday.
So far, local residents have received a mandatory evacuation. However, officials have not fully evacuated Manatee County Jail, which lies within the evacuation zone.