JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ---- Water releases to Lake Okeechobee will be adjusted beginning Friday.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) say releases will achieve a 14 day average of 2,000 cubic feet per second from Moore Haven Lock and Dam and 1,500 cubic feet per second from St. Lucie Lock and Dam.
"With continued paramount focus on Herbert Hoover Dike safety throughout 2018, we need to make increased discharges to slow the still dangerous rise in lake levels," said Jacksonville District Commander, Col. Jason Kirk. "In concert with the South Florida Water Management District, we continue to maximize storage nor and south of the lake to minimize the requirement for discharges."
The lake stage was 14.57 feet as of Thursday. Under these current conditions, discharges up to 4,000 cubic feet per second are allowed to be released to the Caloosahatchee and up to 1,800 cubic feet per second to the St. Lucie.
Crews will use flexibility when it comes raising flows, while they still work to reduce risk to the Herbert Hoover Dike.
The St. Lucie average flow will increase by 330 cubic feet per second from current releases, although runoff water from rain in the St. Lucie basin could occasionally result in flows that exceed the target amount of 1,500 cubic feet per second.
Staff with the Jacksonville District will continue to monitor conditions and will make adjustments to water flows as needed.