The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it will start releasing water from Lake Okeechobee Wednesday afternoon.
The release comes after heavy inflows from the north and rains across the reason.
The Corps says the release is expected to be 4,000 cubic feet per second and will add to the local basin runoff already flowing through the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam into the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
They say the release schedule will be evaluated weekly.
It also will be adjusted as conditions evolve.
The Corps says they started inspecting the Herbert Hoover Dike when the lake reached 15.5 feet.
“We haven’t made large volume releases from Lake Okeechobee since March 2019, but the rapid rise in the lake level combined with an already active hurricane season that lasts until Nov. 30 has left us with no options in ensuring the safety of those living and working around the Herbert Hoover Dike,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, Jacksonville District commander.
“We will keep working with our partners at the South Florida Water Management District to make releases south of the lake whenever practical.”