The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will increase discharges from Lake Okeechobee as part of its ongoing effort to manage water levels.
The releases will increase starting tomorrow (April 24). The new target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary will be a seven-day average of 1,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam (S-79) near Fort Myers. The new target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary will be a seven-day average of 300 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.
"The lake level has stopped falling in the past week due to above-average precipitation in April," said Jim Jeffords, Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District. "We continue to have concerns of above-average rainfall in May and June. Increasing flows from the lake now will help us manage the water level for the upcoming wet season."
Today, the lake stage is 13.69 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.
“We continue to work with the South Florida Water Management District to move as much water south as possible,” said Jeffords.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterManagement.aspx.
Release no. 15-046