With Lake Okeechobee water levels slowly receding, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will reduce flows to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries for the third time in the past two weeks.
Starting Friday (Oct. 21), the target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary will be reduced to 3,000 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 will be reduced to a seven-day average of 1,170 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart.
“The lake is down more than a quarter of a foot from its high following Hurricane Matthew,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District. “However, with a few weeks remaining in what’s been an active hurricane season, we want to ensure we create a little storage for any additional rain that may develop. At the same time, we want to ensure we retain enough water in the lake to get us through the upcoming dry season.”
The Corps will resume releasing water from the lake to the St. Lucie Estuary in a “pulse” fashion which means flows will vary during the seven-day release period. Additional runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins could also occasionally result in flows that exceed targets.
Today, the lake stage is 15.84 feet, down 0.13 feet over the past week and 0.31 feet from its post-Matthew high. 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. 16-088