Corps transitions to recovery; reduces flows from Lake Okeechobee

Published Oct. 10, 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has begun more comprehensive damage assessment of its projects and facilities in Florida impacted by Hurricane Matthew.  The Corps has also reduced flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries.

Initial reports suggest flood control and shore protection projects around the state performed well.  However, following initial assessments, Corps’ staff are now conducting more detailed inspections to identify damage not readily apparent during the initial assessments.  Engineers will develop action plans to address any issues they identify.

"We are optimistic," said Tim Murphy, Deputy District Engineer for Programs and Project Management.  "Our preliminary findings show our projects have performed well. Where we constructed beach protection projects, we are finding that they did their job--eroding and absorbing wave energy to protect landside structures behind them.”

All ports along the Atlantic coast have resumed operations, although restrictions remain at the Port of Fernandina near the Georgia border.  The district is also working to assess the conditions of beach projects along the Atlantic coast. 

On Monday (Oct. 10), the Corps cut flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries.  The target flow to the Caloosahatchee Estuary is 6,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at Moore Haven Lock & Dam (S-77) located on the southwest side of the lake.  The target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary is 2,800 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart.  Additional runoff from rain in the St. Lucie basin could occasionally result in flows that exceed targets.

“Lake Okeechobee has fallen over the past 48 hours,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District.  “With drier weather in the forecast over the coming days in the area, we believe the immediate threat of a large rise in the lake stage has passed.  However, we will continue to monitor and adjust as necessary.”

Today’s lake stage is 16.04 feet.  More information on Jacksonville District response actions can be found at


John Campbell

Release no. 16-085