Governor DeSantis On Piney Point Emergency: State of Emergency & Mandatory Evacuation
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared the state of emergency after Piney Point Plant reservoir containing wastewater is leaking and is on the brink of collapse. The leak, occurring just south of Tampa, FL, has already forced hundreds of residents to evacuate. Originally it would have taken 12 days to drain the reservoir completely. But with additional pumps being brought in, it now would take 4-5 days to drain the reservoir. Hopefully catastrophe will be avoided during these 4-5 days. Another potential concern is a natural gas facility in the evacuation zone supplying power to millions of Florida residents. The biggest concern now, according to Governor DeSantis, is flooding, in the video published on April 4, 2021, “Officials Expand Evacuations As Florida Wastewater Breach Worsens, MSNBC“, below:
The latest update regarding Piney Point Plant reservoir, on Sunday, April 4, 2021, 3:00 pm, ET, in the video published on April 4, 2021, “Manatee County, state leaders give Sunday afternoon update on Piney Point wastewater breach“, below:
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis joins local, state, and federal leaders on Easter Sunday morning, April 4, 2021, speaking about the emergency solution for the ongoing wastewater breach of the Piney Point reservoir, in the video published on April 4, 2021, “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks on Piney Point reservoir breach“, below:
Residents around Piney Point Facility have been advised to evacuate, in the video published on April 4, 2021, “Piney Point lea prompts more evacuations“, below:
In the video published on April 4, 2021, “Toxic Wastewataer Reservoir In Florida In Danger of Collapse, Sunday TODAY“, below:
About 340 million gallons of wastewater that could suddenly be released from the breached Piney Point reservoir. If such a collapse were to occur (worst possible scenario), one model suggests that there would be a 20-foot “wall of water” flooding the surrounding area, according to Manatee County’s acting administrator Dr. Scott Hopes.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management is moving 20 additional pumps to the site to increase the amount of wastewater drainage. Crews are up to removing 35 million gallons per day with, 340 million gallons remaining on site. There will be several more days of draining before the emergency is considered lessened. With additional pumps, number of days necessary for draining the reservoir reduced from 12 days to 4-5 days.
Overnight attempts to fix the leak at the former Piney Point phosphate processing plant were unsuccessful, local leaders acknowledged Saturday afternoon, April 3, 2021, as efforts have been ongoing to prevent a much bigger flood of wastewater. Crews used heavy equipment to pile earth material and rock in an attempt to “kind of plug the hole in the dam” on a large section of the breach but were unsuccessful due to the amount of pressure pressed upon it, said Manatee County acting county administrator Dr. Scott Hopes. “When they reached a point where they were about to celebrate, and then it blew through,” Scott said. About 800 million gallons of processed water, saltwater from the Port Manatee dredge project, rainfall, and stormwater runoff are kept on site in a few retention ponds located at the corner of U.S. Highway 41 and Buckeye Road. It’s owned by HRK Holdings, and Florida’s Department of Environmental protection has oversight, in the video published on April 3, 2021, “Breach ongoing at Piney Point reservoir, leaders say, as crews try to prevent collapse“, below:
Governor DeSantis said, “We’re hoping that we can just continue to get the water out in an efficient way and prevent a catastrophic event, but we have to prepare that this could be something where you see further degradation”
There remains an evacuation order in the area, encompassing about 316 homes. There are no public supply wells within the evacuation zone, said DeSantis, though the state is moving bottled water to people in the area.
Inmates and staff in the nearby Manatee County Jail are currently safe. The flood potential in that area may reach 1-5 feet, therefore, all personnel and the medical unit have been moved to the second floor, and the ground floor has been sandbagged.
According to Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein, the greatest danger right now is flooding, which is why people need to get out of the evacuation zone and stay away from the area. Valenstein also said that people can see the latest water quality information on the “Piney Point Regional Notification” page on ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov.
Any one in the evacuation zone needing assistance should call 311 to obtain assistance or information on evacuation order.For more information, please also check mymanatee.org . Again, the latest update regarding the situation, as of 3:00 pm, ET, on Sunday, April 4, 2021, is in the video “Manatee County, state leaders give Sunday afternoon updated on Piney Point wastewater breach“, below:
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
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