The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will increase flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries starting this weekend.
Effective Friday (Sept. 23), the Corps will increase flows to the Caloosahatchee with a target of 4,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) measured at Moore Haven Lock & Dam (S-77) located on the southwest side of the lake. The new target flow for the St. Lucie is 1,800 cfs measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart. Additional runoff from rain in the St. Lucie basin could occasionally result in flows that exceed targets.
“The lake continues to rise,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District. “With the lake now above elevation 15.5 feet, we have increased our inspections of Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding the lake in accordance with our monitoring plan.”
Today, the lake stage is 15.57 feet, up 0.21 feet over the past week and 0.87 feet over the past month. The lake is currently in the Operational Low Sub-Band as defined by the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS). Under current conditions, LORS authorizes the Corps to discharge up to 4,000 cfs to the Caloosahatchee (measured at S-77) and up to 1,800 cfs to the St. Lucie (measured at S-80).
“We expect the water level to continue to rise over the next few weeks,” said Bronson. “Increasing flows from the lake now allows us to slow the rise to put us in the best position to handle heavy rain events that might develop in the final few weeks of wet season.”
The Corps will continue to monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary.