Water Releases Hope To Slow The Rise In Lake Levels
CLEWISTON, FL. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has announced increases in flows from Lake Okeechobee for at least the next two weeks.
"Heavy rain has caused the lake to rise rapidly over the past few days," said Jorge Tous, Chief of Jacksonville District’s Water Management Section. "It is necessary to increase flows from the lake to slow the rise."
Conditions around the lake remain very wet, with rainfall 40 percent above average since the beginning in April. Wet conditions are forecast to continue, with above average rainfall predicted through September.
The Corps expects these flows to be in effect for at least the next 14 days, unless conditions significantly change.
Lake Okeechobee, in south central Florida is the second largest fresh water lake in the U.S. and famous for it's bass fishing.
Today, the lake stage is 14.33 feet, which is within the Low Operational Sub-Band as defined under the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule, the master plan for water management of the lake.
The Corps will increase the discharges beginning Friday, July 5. The target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary is 4,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at the Moore Haven Lock and Dam (S-77), and 1,800 cfs for the St. Lucie Estuary as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80) near Stuart.
Additional increases in the discharge rate may be necessary as conditions change. The Corps will continue to monitor and make adjustments as necessary.