Piney Point: DEP drones spot another area of weakness at site, but no new leaks

Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Two days after ramping up the evacuation order to include over 300 residences, Manatee County Public Safety officials assured residents the controlled wastewater release at Piney Point is working, but a second area of intrusion is being monitored.

Below are the latest reactions from several Florida government officials as well as the up-to-date information regarding the situation at Piney Point.

Latest updates

Drones spot new intrusion in wall

Representative Vern Buchanan took a helicopter tour of Piney Point Monday and said what he saw was “very concerning.”

“I know they’re making some progress, but to see the water spewing out, it looked very contaminated to me,” he said. “That’s the reason why I felt like we gotta bring all the resources we can, and bring a federal response.”

Part of that federal response includes the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

“Where we’re at now is a unified command with EPA and DEP,” Buchanan said. “I want the best and the brightest on the ground.”

The good news is more and more pumps are being dropped into battle, increasing the amount of water leaving the reservoir. County Administrators Scott Hopes said they’re expecting to reach an average of 75-100 million gallons of water moved per day.

The bad news, Hopes said, is that thermal imagining drones identified another intrusion overnight in the northern part of the eastern wall.

“Temperatures indicate that there is water intrusion into the wall at that point.”

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