Because of falling water levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will suspend flows from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary and reduce flows to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
The adjustment in discharges will take place tomorrow (Nov. 4). The new target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary will be a seven-day average of 1,425 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. No water from the lake will be released through St. Lucie Lock (S-80) near Stuart. However, flows at either the Franklin or St. Lucie structures could occasionally be exceeded by runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie basins—those flows will be allowed to pass through the spillway as necessary.
“Drier weather has taken hold and the lake continues to recede,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District. “Barring an unexpected heavy-rain event, we expect the recession to continue. We can safely suspend releases to the St. Lucie and will continue reducing flows to the Caloosahatchee from 2,800 cfs to 650 cfs over the coming week. This helps facilitate the adjustment for plants and aquatic life toward dry-season flows, which are typically in the 650 cfs range.”
Today, the lake stage is 15.40 feet, down 0.21 feet over the past week. 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. 16-091