Low-level discharges will continue at current rates to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries as part of efforts to manage water levels in Lake Okeechobee.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to begin another seven-day pulse release from the lake tomorrow (Jan. 30). The target flow for the Caloosahatchee during this period is unchanged at an average of 1,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam (S-79) near Fort Myers. The target flow to the St. Lucie is also unchanged at 300 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart. Flows at one or both locations could occasionally be exceeded by runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie basins—those flows will be allowed to pass through structures as necessary.
“We are starting to see the lake recede at a better rate,” said Lt. Col. Tom Greco, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander for South Florida. “However, we continue to have some concerns about increasing flows into the lake from the Kissimmee River to the north. We will continue to monitor and adjust as needed.”
Today, the lake stage is 14.76 feet. It is currently in the Operational Low Sub-Band as defined by the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS). Under current conditions, LORS authorizes the Corps to discharge up to 3,000 cfs to the Caloosahatchee and up to 1,170 cfs to the St. Lucie.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml.
Release no. 15-012