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Army Corps of Engineers says Lake O not dropping as much as hoped for

Posted at 10:18 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 22:18:07-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Army Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of maintaining Lake Okeechobee, says the current water level is 15.4 feet.

"That's only .18 feet lower than a month ago," says Col. Andrew Kelly with the Corps.

"That's not quite where we want it to be," he adds.

The Corps' had been hoping that the water level would have dropped by more at this point in the dry season - to alleviate pressure to release large amounts of water from the lake into the Caloosahatchee Estuary when the rainy season starts (which usually about mid-May.)

History has shown as rapid releases of large amounts of lake water into the Caloosahatchee River can lead to toxic algae blooms.

Col. Kelly says, lately, they've been releasing some of the lake water to the south.

He also says other factors, like possible effects from a weather pattern known as "La Nina," will affect what happens next.

He says, for now, the Army Corps of Engineers is sticking with its current plan and they plan to revisit it next month.