No change in flows from Lake Okeechobee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced this morning there will be no change in discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.

Last week, the Corps reduced the flows by more than 40 percent into the St. Lucie Estuary following weeks of concern over a widespread algae bloom in the lake and in the river.

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The lake stands at 14.66 feet today, more than one-tenth of a foot lower than it was last week, the Corps said.

“We are currently seeing a slow recession in the lake as a result of dry conditions,” said Jim Jeffords, Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District of the Corps. “However, the lake is still unseasonably high and we need to continue to bring the lake level down.”

The Corps prefers lower levels during rainy season. When too much water is in Lake Okeechobee, it can weaken the aging portions of the Herbert Hoover Dike, which protects Glades’ communities from flooding.

About 420 million gallons per day of Lake Okeechobee water is flowing into the St. Lucie Estuary. The Caloosahatchee is getting about 1.8 billion gallons per day.

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Algae flows out of Lake Okeechobee on Friday, July 8. Photo by Palm Beach Post photographer Joe Forzano

Algae flows out of Lake Okeechobee on Friday, July 8. Photo by Palm Beach Post photographer Joe Forzano

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