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Full Lake: U.S. Army Corps says water releases could be coming

Posted at 2:25 PM, Feb 10, 2024

LAKE OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — With our ‘wet’ dry season, water managers are keeping a close eye on rising water levels in Lake Okeechobee. The Lake is currently 16.3 feet deep, with water levels increasing.

That’s because water is being released from Lake Kissimmee for Hurricane Ian repairs and continued rain events from the ongoing El Nino winter. But with a high lake and wet season around the corner, decisions from the U.S. Army corps of engineers to release water from Lake Okeechobee will have to be made.

Deputy commander Major Cory Bell told Fox 4 on Friday that these decisions are never easy to make, and they are currently war gaming different scenarios.

“I think based off the next few weeks on the environmental conditions, if it continues to be extremely wet its possible, we might have to make a release,” said Maj. Bell. “If we do make a release, it will be to all assets. It won’t be restricted to one location. It will be across the border, east, west, and south.”

Still no definitive decisions have been made yet, but should releases be made from the nutrient rich Lake Okeechobee – it will likely supply the ingredients for algae blooms downstream.

One of the upsides though – there is no active bloom on the Lake.