The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will increase the amount of water being released from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
Beginning Friday (Dec. 11) the new target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary will be an average of 1,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. The Corps doesn’t plan to release water from the lake through St. Lucie Lock (S-80) near Stuart at this time. However, runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee or the St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed targets as the water is allowed to pass through the spillway gates at the Franklin or St. Lucie structures.
“The lake has risen a quarter of a foot over the past week,” said Jim Jeffords, Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District. “Heavy rains to the south have reduced our ability to send lake water to the STAs (stormwater treatment areas). This action will help offset some of the increased flows we’ve seen over the past seven days.”
Today, the lake stage is 14.75 feet, placing it inside the Operational Low Sub-Band as defined by the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS). Under current conditions, LORS allows the Corps to discharge up to 3,000 cfs to the Caloosahatchee and up to 1,170 cfs to the St. Lucie. The Corps will continue to monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary based on LORS guidance.
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. 15-101