The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has announced it will increase the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River starting this weekend in response to changes in current and forecasted conditions.
Beginning Saturday (Feb. 8), the Corps will adjust the target flow from the lake to the Caloosahatchee Estuary upward to a 10-day average of 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79) near Fort Myers. Local runoff outside the lake into the Caloosahatchee River could cause flows to exceed this target. The target flow for the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80) is unchanged at 0 cfs, although local basin runoff from the St. Lucie Canal will continue to be allowed to pass through the St. Lucie Lock as necessary.
Since Oct. 21, 2013, the target flow from the Franklin Lock has been 650 cfs and the target flow from the St. Lucie Lock has been 0 cfs. The South Florida Water Management District continues to move water south through the Stormwater Treatment Areas to the Water Conservation Areas.
“The lake has seen a one-quarter foot rise in the past week and the most current analysis of forecasted conditions show an increase to projected lake inflows over the next six months,” said Lt. Col. Tom Greco, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander for South Florida. “We’ll continue to work with stakeholders to assess conditions in order to make sound operational decisions.”
Today, the lake stage is 14.02 feet and has been on an upward trend since Jan. 30. The releases are being conducted in accordance with the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS). The current LORS guidance allows for releases up to 3,000 cfs at Franklin Lock and 1,170 cfs at St. Lucie Lock. However, at this time the current target flows are being adjusted out of consideration for all project purposes.
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. 14-006