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Flood threat evacuates up to 600 Florida homes

Residents of up to 600 homes in west Florida were evacuating on Sunday after a flood gate on a lake dam jammed, causing the rain-soaked lake to rise to dangerously high levels, local officials said.

india Updated: Jun 23, 2003 11:31 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

Residents of up to 600 homes in west Florida were evacuating on Sunday after a flood gate on a lake dam jammed, causing the rain-soaked lake to rise to dangerously high levels, local officials said.

The gate is one of three flood gates serving the Lake Manatee Dam east of Bradenton.

Capt. Larry Leinhauser, a spokesman with the Manatee County Department of Public Safety, said that by noon on Sunday, repair workers had managed to get the jammed gate about one quarter open. "We're not out of the woods yet," he said. "The more we can get the gate open the better."

After five days of heavy rain, the lake's water level was just below 43 feet (12.90 metres) on Sunday morning, nearly five feet (1.5 metres) above normal. Inflows of water were 8,000 cubic feet (240 cubic metres) per second more than outflows, Leinhauser said.

The area had as much as 38 cm of rain in the last five days and more rain was forecast for Sunday.

First Published: Jun 23, 2003 11:31 IST