ALACHUA COUNTY -- Shortly before noon today, a Waste Management garbage truck overturned into Possum Creek, in the 4400 block of NW 43rd Street, in Gainesville. Employees of the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (EPD) have made a visual inspection for leaked fuel, and are saying that the creek appears clean. EPD took water samples and are awaiting the results of tests on those samples. An initial report had stated that the truck was a dump truck.
The truck overturned after falling off a bridge spanning the creek. The driver only incurred minor injuries. The truck landed upside down, trapping the household garbage it was carrying underneath it, so no garbage floated down the creek. Waste Management brought an environmental contractor onsite to make assessments.
The truck has now been pulled out of the creek, along with the garbage it was carrying.
As a strictly advisory precaution, the Alachua County Health Department is asking citizens to stay out of Possum Creek and its tributaries anywhere south of the 4400 block of NW 43rd Street until further notice. The Health Department also advises staying out of Hogtown Creek south of the junction where Possum Creek flows into it. Based upon their initial assessment, the Health Department does not feel that this is a significant threat to the water supply.
The advisory will be lifted once the tests on the water samples taken by EPD return satisfactory results.
For health concerns, citizens can contact Paul Myers of the Alachua County Health Department at (352) 258-4300.