Hours after local and state officials reopened U.S. 41 near Piney Point to traffic today, a local evacuation order was also lifted, giving residents and businesses permission to return home tonight. The news comes as new data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows a diminished risk for an uncontrolled breach of water from the Piney Point gyp stacks, located at 13300 U.S. Highway 41 in north Manatee County.
Buckeye Road will remain closed to traffic for the immediate future. The County's Emergency Operations Center will transition to a Level 2 activation, with only essential personnel at the EOC.
Earlier today, county commissioners unanimously authorized the use of a deep injection well on county-owned property directly south of the Piney Point site across Buckeye Road. That action gives the commission total control over the well and allows the county to dictate the quality of the water before it goes into the well. The DEP has also launched an interactive water quality dashboard.