USACE adjusts Lake Okeechobee releases

Published Aug. 23, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District will adjust flows from Lake Okeechobee starting Friday (Aug. 24, 2018).

The releases will achieve a 14-day average of 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Moore Haven Lock & Dam (S-77) and 1,500 cfs pulse from St. Lucie Lock &Dam (S-80).  

“With continued paramount focus on Herbert Hoover Dike safety throughout 2018, we need to make increased discharges to slow the still dangerous rise in lake levels,” said Jacksonville District Commander, Col. Jason Kirk.  In concert with the South Florida Water Management District, we continue to maximize storage north and south of the lake to minimize the requirement for discharges,” he said.

The lake stage is 14.57 feet today.  This is above the stage when Irma struck in September 2017, which eventually caused the water level to exceed 17 feet.  A similar storm could take the lake to even higher levels.  Under the current conditions, the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule authorizes the USACE to discharge up to 4,000 cfs to the Caloosahatchee (measured at S-77) and up to 1,800 cfs to the St. Lucie (measured at S-80). Flexibility will be used to raise flows to less than this authorized amount, while still reducing risk to the Herbert Hoover Dike.

The St. Lucie average flow will increase by 330 cfs from current releases, although runoff from rain in the St. Lucie basin could occasionally result in flows that exceed the target (1,500 cfs).

Jacksonville District staff will continue to monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary. For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Jacksonville District water management website at



Susan Jackson

Release no. 18-063