The imminent collapse of a wastewater reservoir near Tampa, Fla., could unleash a 20-foot “wall of water,” state officials warned Sunday — as they urged residents in the potential flood’s path to heed an evacuation order.
Authorities issued the dire warning as federal, state and local workers continued to race against time to contain the breach at the Piney Point Stack, first detected Friday at a defunct phosphate processing plant in Manatee County.
“The models for less than an hour could be a 20-foot wall of water,” said acting county administrator Scott Hopes during a Sunday press briefing, outlining a worst-case scenario, according to The Bradenton Herald. “If you’re in an evacuation area and you have not heeded that, you need to think twice.”
Still, Hopes noted that models show flooding of 1- to 5 feet as more likely.
An emergency evacuation order has been issued to residents of more than 300 homes, while a stretch of nearby US