Since Saturday, December 3rd, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been increasing releases from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee Estuary from the Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79) at a seven-day average pulse release of 2,000 cubic feet per second.
No water was released into the St. Lucie Estuary and there are no plans to do so.
The Corps says the target is still within the REstoration COordination & VERification (RECOVER) optimal flow envelope for the Caloosahatchee. “Water from the lake will only be released in amounts needed to supplement local basin runoff to meet the target of 2,000 cfs, and the target is consistent with the recommendation from the South Florida Water Management District for this week.”
“Lake Okeechobee continues to rise due to Hurricane Ian and Nicole,” said Col. James Booth, Jacksonville District commander.” Based on conditions in the lake, we must increase releases to help manage lake levels and put the lake in the best possible position for the dry season and the next wet season. We will continue to utilize our make-up release tool which allows us to make releases at lower levels and bank the volume not released.”
With the lake over 16.5 feet, USACE has been executing inspections of the south side of the lake from Moore Haven to Belle Glade weekly and inspecting the remainder of the dike every two weeks. With the lake at 16.50 feet, it is 0.10 feet higher than last week, 0.63 feet higher than 30 days ago, and 0.57 feet higher than one year ago.