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Water releases from Lake Okeechobee have resumed

Posted at 7:00 AM, Jul 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-13 14:15:40-04

GLADES COUNTY, Fla. -- Water pulse releases from Lake Okeechobee resumed Friday morning and will keep going for about ten days.

The waters around Southwest Florida off our coast still haven't recovered from the initial water releases, so this could mean even more algae.

Water from Lake Okeechobee will be dumped into the Caloosahatchee River at the lock and dam in Moore Haven, and into the St. Lucie River at Port Mayaca.

This comes days after Governor Rick Scott declared a State of Emergency due to toxic algae outbreaks.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says they will do pulse releases of the water, meaning the flow rate will change over a two week period.  Rainfall can determine how much.

Water releases had been temporarily halted on last Monday in order to give managers a chance to conduct a full assessment of system conditions. 

MORE COVERAGE: Water issues in Southwest Florida

The aim is to prevent lake flooding, but impact the environment less.

At last check, the lake level is almost 14 and a half feet.  The Army Corps says it's the third highest lake stage in 11 years.

They say a major breach in the Herbert Hoover Dike would threaten 37,000 people, damaging homes, businesses and roads.

They're working with South Florida Water Management District to flow as much water south.

This week, the White House approved the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage reservoir project.  That still needs further approval, and could take years to construct.