The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has announced plans to further reduce the water discharges from Lake Okeechobee next week.
The Corps expects to suspend water releases from the lake to the St. Lucie Estuary starting Monday (Oct. 21), although runoff from the St Lucie Canal will be allowed to pass through the St. Lucie Lock as needed. The Corps is also adjusting the target flow from the lake to the Caloosahatchee Estuary to 650 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. Local runoff outside the lake into the Caloosahatchee River could cause flows to exceed this target.
“Drier weather is now starting to take hold in the area,” said Lt. Col. Tom Greco, Jacksonville District deputy commander for south Florida. “Our focus is now shifting toward retaining water in the lake to ensure a viable supply for the approaching dry season, while still monitoring for heavy rain events that might force future adjustments in flows.”
The current lake level is 15.57 feet. Under the Corps’ water management plan, the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule, water management operations are structured to keep the lake at a seasonally-adjusted level between 12.5 and 15.5 feet. The Corps will closely monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary. Public safety remains the Corps’ top priority.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management page at the Jacksonville District website:
Release no. 13-087