Jacksonville, Florida --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is assessing impacts to its projects now that Hurricane Dorian has moved out of its area of responsibility.
Jacksonville District staff began surveys of multiple deep-draft ports and are evaluating impacts to coastal storm risk management projects along Florida’s Atlantic Coast.
“We are working to provide the Coast Guard with survey information that allows them to safety reopen ports which are closed,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, Jacksonville District Commander. “We are also working with sponsors to inspect potential erosion of beaches so we can develop appropriate solutions as needed.”
Precipitation from Dorian at Lake Okeechobee was much less than initially forecast. While no decision on water releases has been made at this time, close coordination with the South Florida Water Management District continues. USACE anticipates a decision on whether to release water will be forthcoming by the end of the week.
“The lake has risen two feet in the past month and tropical activity is high in the Atlantic basin. We will continue to monitor conditions and adjust releases as necessary,” said Kelly.
Today’s stage at Lake Okeechobee is 13.97 feet, up 0.37 feet in the last week, and up 1.97 feet during the past 30 days. USACE is letting runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins pass through the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79) and the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80), but isn’t currently releasing water from the lake.
Jacksonville District staff report no storm impacts to the condition of Herbert Hoover Dike, a 143- mile earthen structure that surrounds Lake Okeechobee in south Florida. The Corps continues its ongoing rehabilitation of the dike, scheduled for completion in 2022.
The district is working with non-federal sponsors to survey beach and port projects affected by the storm. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Miami has re-opened ports from Fort Pierce south to Miami Harbor. Ports from Canaveral Harbor north to Kings Bay/Fernandina remain closed or open with restrictions at this time. The district has survey vessels postured to perform post-storm surveys at closed ports upon request by the U.S. Coast Guard.
“Our staff continues to work closely with representatives at the ports and the U.S. Coast Guard to establish post-storm survey priorities,” said Kelly.
The Corps has also resumed normal operations at the five navigation lock structures on the Okeechobee Waterway. Those facilities are open from 7 a.m.-5 p.m., seven days a week. Locking operations at Canaveral Lock also resumed this morning. Canaveral Lock is open from 6 a.m. - 9:30 p.m., seven days a week.
The Corps campground at the St. Lucie South Recreation Area near Stuart will reopen on Friday, September 6.
Finally, the Corps has instituted emergency Regulatory permitting procedures for applicants who may have sustained damage as a result of the storm. The procedures will be in effect until March 1, 2020 in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A public notice regarding the emergency permitting procedures is available at: https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Public-Notices/Article/1951111/alternative-permit-application-processing-procedures-for-activities-in-response/.
More information on Jacksonville District response actions can be found at www.saj.usace.army.mil/storm.