No areas of concern after dike inspections at Lake Okeechobee

Posted at 12:49 PM, Oct 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-06 12:49:28-04

GLADES COUNTY, Fla. -- Inspections of the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee this week have found no new areas of concern, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps conducted two inspections this week on the southern half of the dike (between Moore Haven and Port Mayaca), and one inspection on the northern half of the dike.

All inspection teams report no significant seepage activity or issues with the structural integrity of the dike.

The only notable seepage site was at an ongoing leak at the southern half of the dike, where seepage has been observed since 2009 when the lake reaches stages above 15.5 feet.  No change in the flow was noted from previous inspections, and it is being maintained in a controlled manner with sandbags.

"This was the third week of increased inspections of the dike that our teams have conducted since Irma passed," said Laureen Borochaner, Jacksonville District Engineering Division Chief and Dam Safety Officer.  "The continuation of rain in the area and high water levels in canals has left some saturated soil in spots, but close observation by inspectors found no areas of concern.  All is as expected."

The Corps conducts twice weekly inspections of the southern half of the dike and weekly inspections of the northern half of the dike whenever the lake level exceeds elevation 16.5 feet.  

Should the lake rise above 17.0 feet, the Corps would inspect the southern half of the dike daily and maintain weekly inspection in the northern half of the dike.  

Friday's lake stage was 16.83 feet.