Staff with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District report no significant issues of concern following their most recent inspections of the Herbert Hoover Dike that surrounds Lake Okeechobee in south Florida.
The Corps conducted daily inspections this week on the southern half of the dike, between Moore Haven and Port Mayaca. The Corps also conducted one inspection on the northern half of the dike, between Lakeport and Port Mayaca. All inspection teams report no issues with the structural integrity of the dike.
New observations since the lake has risen above 17.0 feet include limited areas of clear flowing seepage between Belle Glade to the Miami Canal. These areas require no flood fighting efforts in their current condition and will be watched closely during future inspections to prevent the movement of embankment material. Inspectors also noted a historic seepage site at the southern half of the dike was discharging clear water. Seepage has been observed at this site since 2009 when the lake reaches stages above 15.5 feet. A slight increase in the flow rate at this site was noted from previous inspections, but it is being maintained in a controlled manner with sandbags.
“This was the fourth week of increased inspections of the dike that our teams have conducted since Irma passed,” said Laureen Borochaner, Jacksonville District Engineering Division Chief and Dam Safety Officer. “We continue to see saturated soil in some locations as well as some minimal seepage. However, none of the finding cause us concern at this time.”
The Corps conducts daily inspections of the southern half of the dike and weekly inspections of the northern half of the dike whenever the lake level exceeds elevation 17.0 feet. Should the lake rise above 17.5 feet, the Corps would maintain daily inspections in the southern half of the dike and increase to twice weekly inspections in the northern half of the dike. Today’s lake stage is 17.19 feet.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterManagement.aspx.
Release no. 17-059