Apr 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Florida takes measures to avoid a "catastrophic flood" at wastewater pond near Tampa

Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Crews are working to prevent "a real catastrophic flood situation" and are evacuating people out of harm's way, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said during a press conference Sunday, the AP reports.

Why it matters: DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Saturday due to a leak at a wastewater pond in the Tampa area.

Details: So far, 316 homes have been evacuated and state authorities have closed portions of U.S. Highway 41, per AP.

  • Prisoners and staff on the ground floor of a local jail about a mile from the pond have been moved to the second floor to account for possible flooding, and sandbags have been put in place.

What they're saying: “What we are looking at now is trying to prevent and respond to, if need be, a real catastrophic flood situation,” said DeSantis.

Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes said Sunday that with new state resources crews working at the site will nearly double the amount of water being pumped out of the pond.

  • "Looking at the water that has been removed and the somewhat stability of the current breach, I think the team is much more comfortable today than we were yesterday,” he said.
  • “We are not out of the critical area yet," he added.
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