Manatee County in Florida is in a state of emergency because a toxic wastewater pond is on the verge of collapse.
Officials warned that the collapse of the Piney Point Reservoir, about 40 miles south of Tampa, could flood houses 15 to 20 feet deep. Hundreds of families were ordered to evacuate.
Governor Ron DeSantis said at a press conference on Sunday that staff are working to prevent “a truly catastrophic flood situation.”
The reservoir contains a mixture of salt water, fresh water and fertilizer runoff. DeSantis clarified on Sunday that water is not radioactive while people are worried that water is not radioactive.
Public safety officials in Manatee County said that part of the retaining wall of the reservoir moved to the side, which means that the entire structure may collapse. They say that if this happens, the potential 600 million gallons of water could leave the retention pond within a few minutes.
Natural gas power plants that provide energy to millions of people in the region are also located in the flood-stricken area, which has attracted more attention.
The crew is now working to move the water out of the reservoir as quickly as possible, but this may take more than a week.
The governor said that officials are preparing for a full-scale violation, but hope that it will not happen.