USACE to maintain flows to Caloosahatchee
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Jacksonville District continues to monitor conditions and will maintain flows from the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79) to the Caloosahatchee estuary, officials reported on March 16.
The Corps will continue a pulse release to the Caloosahatchee estuary to a seven-day average rate of 650 cubic feet per second (cfs) from the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79). Flows to the St. Lucie estuary remain at zero cfs as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80). The schedule will remain in effect until further notice. Additional runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed one or both targets.
“The recent dry weather had caused the lake level to recede, but lake level is still projected to be around 12 feet at the beginning of the wet season. The strategy we began last fall remains in effect as we continue to monitor the conditions in all areas very closely,” Jacksonville District Commander Col. Andrew Kelly said. “This week’s schedule still represents the best allocation as we understand it, working with our partners, from the water supply perspective.”
As of March 16, lake stage is 12.36 feet NGVD. During the past week, lake levels have decreased 0.08 feet, with an overall 0.56 foot decrease in the past 30 days. The Corps will continue to monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary. Any changes in flows to the estuaries will be announced to the public.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterManagement.aspx.