The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will further increase flows from Lake Okeechobee this weekend in an effort to stem the rise in water level brought about by recent heavy precipitation.
Starting Friday (Feb. 5), the Corps will remove specific target flows and release as much water as practical through Moore Haven Lock (S-77) located on the west side of the lake, and the Port Mayaca Lock (S-308) located on the east side of the lake. Flows will vary based on downstream conditions in the Caloosahatchee River/Estuary and the St. Lucie Canal/Estuary.
“Even with the discharges that started last week, the lake continues to rise,” said Col. Jason Kirk, Jacksonville District Commander. “With additional rain in the forecast, we believe we must further increase flows to reverse the upward trend of the lake.”
Today, the lake stage is 16.25 feet, the highest since Dec. 12, 2005. Depending on runoff and other factors, the Corps could achieve flows from the lake up to 9,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the Caloosahatchee basin and up to 7,600 cfs in the St. Lucie basin. However, water managers will continue to give priority toward using those basins for accumulated runoff to reduce potential for flooding of nearby property owners.
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. 16-012