Officials feared a pool of contaminated water could collapse "at any moment." On Saturday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in the area.
Regional officials said the lake, located on the site of Piney Point phosphate processing, "had significant leaks," according to CBS-based organization WTSP-TV. The Manatee County Department of Public Safety has told people close to the plant to evacuate because "it's almost time to dump its wastewater."
"Part of the content wall in the leak area has changed over time," said Manatee Public Safety Director Jake Saur, "indicating that building collapse could happen at any time."
The Manatee Department of Public Safety initially sent emergency evacuation notices on Friday to those within a mile of Piney Point, and at 11am on Saturday, evacuation orders were given to people one kilometer north and the reservoirs of phosphogypsum - manure and mineral waste. Roads around the road are also closed to traffic.
Mandatory evacuation was added another half a mile west and one mile southwest of the site on Saturday evening. The Manatee County Department of Public Safety said 316 families were in a state of emergency evacuation.
Despite the forced eviction of local residents, the authorities did not fully remove them from Manatee County prison, which is near the immigration center. The Manatee County Sheriff's Office confirmed to CBS News on Sunday that of the more than 1,000 inmates, it would move 345 "to an undisclosed safe haven."
Manatee County jail exit
Based on a map of the current migration area around Piney Point Florida Florida, pictured on the right, the Manatee County Jail, the site shown on the left with Google Maps, is in the center. As of Sunday night, the prison had not been released.
The move, the office said, was to "open a dormitory" for the remaining 721 inmates at the highest level of the prison.
"For security purposes, we do not provide current information on the transfer of prisoners," the office said. "Sheriff Rick Wells and staff are still in regular contact with officials about the situation, and they feel better about the progress of the stack removal. In the event of a collapse only a watery foot into the jail can be expected."
State Attorney Michele Rayner-Goolsby wrote on Twitter that she had spoken to the chief of police and said he had "assured her" that there was a plan in place to ensure that prisoners were protected and released safely. "
"I'm fine with the plan," he added.
And on Sunday night, the Federal Aviation Administration issued temporary flight restrictions over the lake on Monday.
On Monday morning, Manatee County schools announced the suspension of school bus services at the exit. Students from six schools are affected by the situation, according to a list of impact buses.
In a press conference Sunday morning, DeSantis said officials were pumping out 33 million gallons of water a day into the lake, and that the water was "not radioactive," although another official added that the water "was not the water we wanted to see leave." site. "The main concern," says DeSantis, is the composition of the water components, which contain metals. Reports on water samples should be available in the coming days.
Florida's Department of Environmental Protection said it had instructed the company to "take immediate action" to prevent further leaks. On March 30, the department said "pipelines at the facility are being repaired" and rolls were launched to prevent pressure.
However, based on Barath's testimony at the meeting, the situation was not over. He concluded by saying that they were doing everything possible to prevent a catastrophe.
On Friday, another leak was found in the area south of the center. Although they have been working all night trying to prevent this and other leaks, Manatee Public Safety Director Jake Saur said on Saturday the situation was "increasing".