More water to flow into Caloosahatchee, St. Lucie rivers

Posted at 2:45 PM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 14:45:57-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- More water from Lake Okeechobee will begin pouring into Southwest Florida starting Friday.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it's increasing water release flows from the lake for the second straight week.  The Corps says the lake's water level has risen about a quarter of a foot since last week, forcing them to dump more water into the Caloosahatchee River to ease the pressure on the aging Hoover Dike.

Beginning Friday, the Corps will increase flows into the Caloosahatchee with a target of 4,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) measured at Moore Haven Lock & Dam. The previous target rate was 2,800 cfs.

The new target flow for the St. Lucie River is now 1,800 cfs measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam near Stuart.  Its previous rate was set at 1,170 cfs. 

Large water releases earlier this year hurt Southwest Florida's water quality and turned much of the water around Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel a brownish color.