The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has announced its second reduction in flows from Lake Okeechobee since the beginning of the month.
The Corps plans to reduce discharges from the lake starting Friday (March 18). The new target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary is 3,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W. P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. The new target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary is 1,170 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock (S-80) near Stuart. Additional runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed targets.
“The lake has continued to fall with the onset of drier weather,” said Jim Jeffords, Jacksonville District Operations Division Chief. “Based on current conditions, our water control plan calls for another reduction in flows. However, some precipitation has been forecasted in the week ahead, which could slow the recession. We’ll continue to monitor and adjust accordingly."
Today, the lake stage is 15.32 feet, down more than one foot since it peaked at 16.40 feet on February 8. The Corps will continue to monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary to balance the competing needs and purposes for water in Lake Okeechobee.
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. 16-023