Business owners, residents want permanent solution to ‘reoccurring nightmare’ at Piney Point

Residents and business owners in Piney Point say they’ve dealt with this problem for long enough. They now want a more permanent solution. 

"It needs to be handled, and the water needs to be removed, and unfortunately it’s just a bad situation all around," said Jennifer Amares, owner of Popi’s Place III along US 41. 

On Sunday, Governor DeSantis made his way to Manatee County to give an update on what’s been done to stop the leak. He said their first priority is to mitigate the situation at hand.

"The Florida National Guard is in the process of dropping off additional pumps via air on top of the berms to help decrease the water level in the Piney Point reservoir at an even faster pace. These pumps will be fed into surrounding waterways in an effort to drain the reservoir," said Governor DeSantis. 

However, after the threat of danger has passed, their focus will shift to find a more permanent fix to ensure something like this does not happen again.

"We will be moving forward to a permanent solution. [It] would probably include filling these ponds after they’ve been devoid of their contents and capping them, leaving a permanent solution, but this would not reoccur anytime in the future," said Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes. 

PREVIOUS Residents evacuated, US-41 closed, state of emergency declared as water continues to flow from Piney Point

George and Jennifer Amares are currently in the evacuation zone, and they have been forced to temporarily close their doors.

"This time of year is probably the busiest time of year for us. There’s so many good weekends in Florida that we try to take advantage of. And unfortunately, this is cutting into that. We’re going to take a significant hit," explained George Amares, one of the owners of Popi’s Place III. 

Courtesy: Popi's Place

They told FOX 13 this isn’t the first time they’ve had to evacuate. However, they are hopeful that this time will be the last. 

"It needs to be handled and someone needs to be held accountable for this and not just a simple Band-Aid over the problem anymore," said Jennifer. 

READ: What is Piney Point: A history the former phosphate plant site

Local leaders and the governor promised Sunday that they plan to take action by holding those responsible accountable while putting an end to this reoccurring nightmare.

"This is unacceptable, and it’s not something we will allow to persist. I’ve asked Secretary Valenstein to work with Manatee County and utilize all available resources to form a permanent solution long-standing issue," said DeSantis. 


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