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Corps to host Lake Okeechobee public meeting tonight

By Staff | May 11, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites the public to attend an update meeting on Lake Okeechobee water management and the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike.
Corps representatives will conduct presentations followed by a question and answer session at 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 11, at the Lee County Administration Building, first floor conference room, 2115 Second Street, Fort Myers.
With Lake Okeechobee’s water level at 15.10 feet (NGVD) today and the wet season only a few weeks away, the Corps of Engineers is releasing water from the lake. The goals of releases are to: 1) lower the lake’s water level as quickly as allowed under the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule, thereby providing storage for future rain and storm events; 2) reduce the potential for an unsafe build-up of pressure on the Herbert Hoover Dike; and, 3) reduce the probability of detrimental ecological conditions in the lake that could cause more serious impacts to the lake and estuaries in the future.
The Corps strives to maintain lake levels between 12.5 and 15.5 feet NGVD. At the beginning of the wet season, the preferred lake level is near the lower end of this range to allow capacity in the lake for wet season precipitation and run off. At 15.10 feet, the lake is on the high end of the range and is expected to exceed 15.5 feet if the Corps does not continue to make releases.
The 75-year-old Herbert Hoover Dike is undergoing a major rehabilitation. The majority of work is ongoing in the most vulnerable area of the dike, a 22-mile section that extends from Port Mayaca to Belle Glade. The Corps is filling the existing toe ditch within the federal right-of-way, designing and constructing landside seepage management features, installing a cutoff wall, and conducting a variety of studies and technical reviews to ensure the safety of south Florida residents.
The Corps will provide an update on these and future activities at the public meeting.
For more information, visit www.saj.usace.army.mil, and click Water Management or Herbert Hoover Dike on the right column.

Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers