Florida reservoir collapse: Where is Piney Point reservoir – Maps | World | News

More than 300 residents have been told to evacuate after officials warned . Manatee County public safety officials said a portion of the reservoir’s retaining wall shifted laterally, which means total structural collapse is possible. They warned if that were to happen, potentially 600 million gallons of water could leave the retention pool in a matter of minutes.

Where is Piney Point Reservoir?

Piney Point Reservoir sits in Florida’s Manatee County, US.

It is about 40 miles south of Tampa, which is along Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Governer Ron de Santis said on Twitter: “Due to a possible breach of mixed saltwater from the south reservoir at the Piney Point facility, I have declared a State of Emergency for Manatee County to ensure resources are allocated for necessary response and recovery.”

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The Manatee County Public Safety Department told people near the plant to evacuate due to an “imminent uncontrolled release of wastewater.”

Manatee Director of Public Safety Jake Saur said: “A portion of the containment wall at the leak site shifted laterally, signifying that structural collapse could occur at any time.” 

He continued: “Thankfully the evacuation area does not include any major residential areas, and the homes within Artisan Lakes are not in the evacuation area.

“If you live within the evacuation area, you need to find shelter with friends and family outside of the evacuation zone now.”

The water being drained is a mix of seawater from a local dredge project, stormwater and rain runoff. The water has not been treated. 

Mr DeSantis clarified on Sunday the water is not radioactive after there was concern it might be.

Causing additional concern is the fact a natural gas plant that provides energy to millions in the region is also in the flood zone.

An initial leak in the 79-acre reservoir, which is a part of a system of ponds, was reported on March 26 but the situation has deteriorated in recent days.

Crews are still working to move water out of the reservoir as fast as possible, but it could take more than a week.

The Governor said officials are preparing for a full breach.

A quick and uncontrolled breach could not only flood or destroy homes in the area, but it would also upend stacks of phosphogypsum, a waste product of phosphate mining, that hold the ponds.

Phosphogypsum contains “appreciable quantities” of radioactive materials, such as uranium and radium, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. 

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