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Water flows into Caloosahatchee River to be drastically lowered this week

Posted at 1:31 PM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 13:31:54-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is once again reducing flows from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River.

This is the fourth time in three weeks that the Corps has pulled back on releases.  But millions of gallons of water are still pouring into the river, no less.

The goal is to ease pressure on the Hoover Dike, but these releases have been known to hurt Southwest Florida's water quality.

The new target rate of water flow into the Caloosahatchee, measured at the Franklin Lock, will be 650 cubic feet per second.  Engineers will be decreasing the flow from 2,800 cfs over the next week.  Water releases eastward into the St. Lucie river will be stopped completely.

At its peak flow in the wake of Hurricane Matthew last month, 6,500 cubic feet per second were being released into the Caloosahatchee.

As of Thursday, the lake stage is 15.40 feet, down 0.21 feet over the past week.