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Posted 12/16/2014

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By Erica Skolte

Last month, several "tussocks," popped up as part of the natural process in Lake Okeechobee. Tussocks are like floating islands made up of mud, peat and plants.

A half-acre tussock was blown by the wind, and completely blocked the navigation channel of Rim Canal Route 2 of the Okeechobee Waterway, on the south side of Lake Okeechobee. The Okeechobee Waterway is a navigable waterway that cuts across the state, from the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

A member of the local community reported the problem, which helped the Corps to respond and resolve the issue in a timely manner.

The tug boat Leitner, with Capt. Graham Thompson at the helm, pushed a barge-mounted crane with a crew of three into position. The team successfully broke up and removed the tussock, restoring navigation on the Okeechobee Waterway.

Report any potential hazards to navigation on Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway, to the South Florida Operations Office.

jacksonville Jacksonville District Lake Okeechobee navigation Okeechobee Waterway tussock U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE