The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary over the coming week.
The adjustment in discharges will take place tomorrow (May 15). The new target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary will be a seven-day average of 700 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart. The target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary is unchanged at a seven-day average of 2,000 cfs as measured W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. Flows at one or both locations could occasionally be exceeded by runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie basins—the runoff will be allowed to pass through structures as necessary.
“The lake has dropped two tenths of a foot over the past week,” said Jim Jeffords, Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District. “Additional capacity to send water south has become available as drier conditions have returned. This makes it possible to reduce flows to the east to help keep salinities in a good range in the esturary.”
Today, the lake stage is 13.49 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://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterManagement.aspx.
Release no. 15-053