Tarmac mine probable disaster

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The Tarmac Mine, approximate elevation 6-7 feet on the Gulf side and 16-17 feet on the east end, sits within the hurricane-surge reach and evacuation  zone of a Category 2 and higher storm.  Fifty-Two major hurricanes or storms  have directly impacted upon Levy County, an average of 3.21 per year, from 1842 through 2009.

The danger lies in the probable displacement from storm surge of water-borne quarry pit impurities and other mine related activities, affecting the  coastal waters of the Gulf, Waccassassa Bay fishing and the aquaculture of Cedar Key.

The documented 1842 hurricane hitting Cedar Key had a storm surge of 27 feet. Due to the Gulf Coast’s shallow continental shelf this is not a rare occurrence: Hurricane Ike, 2008, 18-20 feet; Katrina, 2005, 25-28 feet; Opal, 1995, 24 feet; Hugo, 1989, 19.8 feet.

Surge vulnerability facts taken from the National Hurricane Center show that from 1990-2008 Population density increased by 32 percent in Gulf coastal  counties. Much of the United States’ densely populated Atlantic and Gulf coasts.  

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