FHP closes US-41 in Palmetto as Phosphogypsum Stack collapse imminent

FHP closes US-41 in Palmetto as Phosphogypsum Stack collapse imminent
Evacuations and US-41 (Source: WWSB)

PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - Florida Highway Patrol is closing both lanes of US-41 from 113th Street East to College Avenue due to the danger of an imminent collapse of the Phosphogypsum stack.

The large stack that holds millions of gallons of water has been deteriorating quickly and Manatee County officials are now telling those nearby to evacuate immediately.

Manatee County is ordering an evacuation for everyone within half-mile south and one mile north. They are saying that “the public must heed that notice to avoid harm.”

Everyone should avoid the area and find alternate routes. FHP says that motorists wanting to travel south will need to detour onto College Avenue and travel east to I-75.

According to Randy Warren with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Manatee County Jail will not be evacuated due to time constraints. The plan in place will fall in line with the hurricane or flood place.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office put the mobile command center at the jail and is assisting the county, but they are not the lead on the investigation.

ABC7 is sending reporters to the scene and we will provide updates as soon as we get more information.

Follow the most current news on our Facebook here or our Twitter here. The Manatee County Public Safety Department will be holding a press conference around 2 p.m. You can watch that press conference on our Facebook page.

If you are concerned about the evacuation area and have questions, call 3-1-1.

Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse posted the following update on Twitter:

You can find the official letter sent out by the Chair of the Manatee County commission Vanessa Baugh below:

Baugh (Source: Manatee County Government)

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