The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District plans no changes to its current “pulse-release” pattern from Lake Okeechobee over the next week.
The target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary remains at a seven-day average of 2,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam (S-79) located near Fort Myers. The target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary remains at a seven-day average of 650 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (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 risen over the past week, but the rate of rise has been manageable,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District. “Runoff from rain along the coast has limited the amount of water we’ve been able to release from the lake. We are closely monitoring tropical activity and will be ready to adjust operations as necessary, depending on what happens.”
Today, the lake stage is 14.83 feet, up 0.16 feet over the past week, in the upper third of the Corps’ preferred range of 12.5 to 15.5 feet. The Corps will continue releasing water from the lake in a “pulse” fashion which means flows will vary during the seven-day release period. Many have credited this practice with reducing environmental impacts from the discharges in recent weeks.
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. 16-072