For the second time in two weeks, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will reduce the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries.
The Corps will make the changes in a pulse release starting tomorrow (April 29). The new target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary is a seven-day average of 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam (S-79) located near Fort Myers. The new target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary is a seven-day average of 650 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock (S-80) near Stuart. Additional runoff from any rain in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed targets.
“The lake level continues to decrease,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander for South Florida. “Even though we reduced flows last week , the recession rate has remained the same mostly due to warm, dry weather which is increasing evaporation off the lake and increasing the need for water supply to the south.”
Today, the lake stage is 14.33 feet, down over two feet since it peaked at 16.40 feet on February 8. The Corps will continue to monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary.
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. 16-030