Authorities in Florida are evacuating about 345 inmates from the first floor of a county jail amid concerns over the potential collapse of a local reservoir, according to reports on Sunday.
The Manatee County Central Jail is at the corner of an evacuation zone surrounding the old Piney Point phosphate mine, where about 300 million gallons of wastewater is threatening to breach a reservoir there and flood the surrounding area.
Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes said the models show the area could be covered with one foot to five feet of water. The second floor of the jail is 10 feet above ground.
On Sunday, Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells declined to share what location the jail is taking the inmates, as they were still being moved. He said the county’s original plan — moving all the inmates to the second floor — would be too much of a security risk, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
This aerial photo taken from an airplane shows a reservoir near the old Piney Point phosphate