The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will institute a small increase in discharges from Lake Okeechobee as part of its ongoing effort to manage water levels.
The releases will increase starting tomorrow (Feb. 13). The new target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary will be a seven-day average of 1,700 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. The new target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary will be a seven-day average of 500 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.
"While the lake decreased slightly for three weeks, recent rains have caused the level to rise in the past few days," said Lt. Col. Tom Greco, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander for South Florida. "We will continue to monitor conditions and do everything possible to minimize impacts. At the same time, the Corps will manage the water in the lake in the interest of public safety for the people who live and work in the area by ensuring it is appropriately positioned for the upcoming wet season."
Today, the lake stage is 14.80 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. 15-019