Florida has declared a state of emergency in Manatee County and ordered the evacuation of hundreds of homes as a wastewater reservoir from an old phosphate plant is on the verge of collapse. Crews have been in a race against time to stop a leak in a 480-million-gallon pool of toxic water at Piney Point—and the situation became even more unstable on Saturday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “The attempt was to kind of plug the hole in the dam,” acting county administrator Scott Hopes said. “They reached a point when they were about to celebrate, and it blew through.” If there’s a major breach, a wall of polluted water several feel high could surge through the area and eventually end up in Tampa Bay, disrupting that ecosystem.
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