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Corps to maintain current flow from Lake Okeechobee

By Staff | Nov 15, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Jacksonville District will maintain the flow of water from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee Estuary on the current schedule, officials reported today.

The Corps will continue to release water from the lake to the Caloosahatchee in a pulse pattern that averages 650 cubic feet per second (cfs) over a seven-day period measured at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79). No releases are planned through the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80).

Flows at the W.P. Franklin or St. Lucie structures could occasionally be exceeded by runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie basins, and those flows will be allowed to pass through the spillways as necessary. If local basin runoff meets or exceeds the 650 cfs targeted release at W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam, no water will be released from Lake Okeechobee at Moore Haven Lock and Dam (S-77).

“Forecasts indicate that the conditions on the lake are likely to remain stable for about the next month and a half,” Jacksonville District Commander Col. Andrew Kelly said. “That means that we are still in a pretty good position, and can continue to release water to the Caloosahatchee estuary for the foreseeable future.”

As of Nov. 15, the stage at Lake Okeechobee was 13.28 feet, down 0.07 feet in the prior week and 0.17feet during the past 30 days. The Corps also will continue to release water when necessary to maintain navigation levels in the Caloosahatchee C-43 and St. Lucie C-44 canals and to provide water supply.

Partners at the Department of Environmental Protection report that according to the most recent viable satellite imagery, harmful algal bloom potential is low on Lake Okeechobee and the estuaries remain free of blooms.