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Corps announces Lake Okeechobee water to flow until further notice

Posted at 1:40 PM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 14:30:14-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says water flows from Lake Okeechobee will continue into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers until further notice.

The Corps announced Thursday that the water flow at W. P. Franklin Lock and Dam will be a constant 3,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).

While that is higher than the previous 14-day average of 2,000 cfs measured at the Moore Haven Lock, the measurements at Franklin Lock in Alva will include local runoff from the Caloosahatchee basin. 

Corps officials tell Fox 4 that local runoff has averaged 3,000 cfs, so it's possible that no water will be released from Lake Okeechobee on some days.

They are reducing the amount flowing in pulse releases into the St. Lucie River from 1,500 cfs over the last two weeks to 1,170 cfs over the next seven days.

MORE COVERAGE: Southwest Florida Water Crisis

According to the Corps, Lake Okeechobee is currently at 14.66 feet above sea level, almost a foot higher than it was at this time last year. During the past week, lake levels rose 0.06 feet, with a 0.27 foot rise in the past 30 days.

South Florida Water Management District meteorologists estimate that Tropical Storm Gordon dropped approximately 1- 1.5 inches of rain over Lake Okeechobee within the last 7 days.

NOTE: This story has been updated to clarify the differences in measuring the water at Moore Haven and Franklin Lock.