Spectacular implosion brings down twin cooling towers at Florida - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Spectacular implosion brings down twin cooling towers at Florida power plant

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A truck makes it's way past what remains of one of the two cooling towers of the St. Johns River Power Park in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, June 16, 2018. A truck makes it's way past what remains of one of the two cooling towers of the St. Johns River Power Park in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, June 16, 2018.
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It took just 12 seconds for 1,500 pounds of dynamite to bring down two huge cooling towers Saturday morning at a Florida power plant.

While it is an exciting moment for some to witness at the St. Johns River Power Park, several local residents said it's also bittersweet.

"Yeah, I'll probably have a tear in my eye," said Carol Stevens, who started working at the Power Park in 1988 when the second tower was built. She retired several years ago.

Each cooling towers measure about 462-feet tall.

"The towers are coming down as the first step in decommissioning the entire plant," said Gina Kyle, a Jacksonville Electric Authority spokeswoman. She said the towers were used to cool the water that was coming into the plant to produce energy, but they are no longer needed.

"I've only lived in Jacksonville for four years but this is the icon," she said.

JEA and Florida Power & Light contracted Total Wrecking & Environmental to handle the implosion of the cooling towers and demolition of the power park for $14.5 million. The project is expected to be completed in April 2020.

They were the second tallest cooling towers to be imploded in the world, Total Wrecking & Environmental said.

Preparation took about 10 weeks for the implosion. More than 1,500 pounds of dynamite and 12,000 linear feet of detonation were used.

The St. Johns River Power Park, a 1,264-megawatt, coal-fired electric plant, was closed in January.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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