PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - An evacuation order is underway in Palmetto due to what the Federal Emergency Management Agency is calling an “imminent uncontrolled release” of wastewater near Piney Point due to the ongoing situation with the former phosphate plant.
This is following a large seepage along the eastern wall of the New Gypsum Stack South reservoir around 4 p.m., according to the Florida Department of Environment Protection. Engineers are working to create a blockade.
An emergency alert was sent out to residents. The affected areas include Buckeye Road and Bud Rhoden Road. Officials are working now to begin evacuating homes in the area. They are asking residents to gather necessities and prepare to leave immediately.
The initial evacuation area was a half-mile radius from the former phosphate plant. That has now been amended to include one-mile north of Piney Point
The Manatee County Commission had an emergency meeting earlier in the day to discuss the situation. Affected residents can call 311 for more info.