TAMPA, Fla. – Authorities in central Florida are working around the clock to avoid a potential environmental disaster for the Tampa Bay area.
Officials are saying a partial breach of a barrier around an old phosphate mine has caused expanding evacuations Saturday evening.
The state sent additional pumps and cranes in to help control the breach.
“The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is prepared to, and dedicated to, the full enforcement for any damages to our state’s natural resources,” said Shannon Herbon, spokesperson for Florida Department of Environmental Protection. “So that is definitely happening, it’s just right now our top priority is ensuring the ceasing of the breach.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas Counties due to their proximity to the Eastport Terminal Facility.
Officials from the environmental protection department have been on-site to prevent the situation from worsening.