The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District found no areas of concern during initial, post-Hurricane Matthew inspections of Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee in South Florida.
Staff from Jacksonville District’s Construction, Engineering, and Operations Divisions finished initial inspection of the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee early Friday evening (Oct. 7). They found no new issues or areas of concern since the previous inspection on Tuesday (Oct. 4) before Hurricane Matthew impacted the area.
“While we’re pleased with the initial findings we must continue to be vigilant,” said Col. Jason Kirk, Jacksonville District Commander. “The water level continues to rise and we expect that trend to continue for a few weeks as runoff from Hurricane Matthew works its way through the basins north of the lake.”
Today’s stage at Lake Okeechobee is 16.15 feet, up 0.22 feet over the past 24 hours. The Corps continues to release as much water as practical from the lake through spillway structures at Moore Haven and Port Mayaca. Lake flows will vary based on downstream conditions in the Caloosahatchee River/Estuary and the St. Lucie Canal/Estuary.
The district is working with non-federal sponsors to survey beach and port projects affected by the storm. From Fort Pierce to points south, the ports are open; from Port Canaveral north, ports are closed. Surveys are underway in the ports that are currently closed; they will be opened as soon as they are cleared.
“Our project managers and Operations Division are working closely with captains of each of the ports,” said Kirk. “We are working with the U.S. Coast Guard in Miami to establish priorities of survey.
The Corps has also resumed normal operations at the five navigation lock structures on the Okeechobee Waterway. Those facilities are open from 7 a.m.-5 p.m., seven days a week. Locking operations at Canaveral Lock will resume when Port Canaveral is reopened. Canaveral Lock is open from 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m., seven days a week.
The Corps also reopened its campground today at the St. Lucie South Recreation Area near Stuart. The facility sustained some minor damage as a result of Matthew.
More information on Jacksonville District response actions can be found at www.saj.usace.army.mil