LABELLE, FL. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee Estuary over the next week.
The adjustment in discharges will take place tomorrow (April 10). The new target flow for the Caloosahatchee will be a seven-day average of 1,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. The target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary is unchanged at a seven-day average of 0 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart. Flows at one or both locations could occasionally be exceeded by runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie basins—those flows will be allowed to pass through the structures as necessary.
“Dry conditions over the past month have caused the lake to drop more than three quarters of a foot,” said Lt. Col. Tom Greco, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander for South Florida. “We are making this change to allow the environment to adjust should a further reduction in flows become necessary.”
Today, the lake stage is 13.77 feet. It is currently in the Operational Low Sub-Band as defined by the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS). Under current conditions, LORS authorizes the Corps to discharge up to 3,000 cfs to the Caloosahatchee and up to 1,170 cfs to the St. Lucie.