• Cape Coral: 'We definitely missed a bullet'
    Cape Coral: 'We definitely missed a bullet'
  • Fort Myers streets find themselves underwater after Hurricane Irma
    Fort Myers streets find themselves underwater after Hurricane Irma
  • First look at damage from Hurricane Irma in Fort Myers
    First look at damage from Hurricane Irma in Fort Myers
  • Flooding in north Cape Coral
    Flooding in north Cape Coral
  • Hurricane Irma: The aftermath at Gateway
    Hurricane Irma: The aftermath at Gateway
  • Video of Hurricane Irma at Fort Myers Beach from a resident
    Video of Hurricane Irma at Fort Myers Beach from a resident
  • Jet Blue sustains damage to practice fields
    Jet Blue sustains damage to practice fields
  • Hurricane Irma visits Fort Myers Beach and downtown Fort Myers
    Hurricane Irma visits Fort Myers Beach and downtown Fort Myers
  • Guima Martial Goes Home
    Guima Martial Goes Home
  • Hurricane Irma: A view from above of flood-ravaged Lehigh Acres
    Hurricane Irma: A view from above of flood-ravaged Lehigh Acres
  • Hurricane Irma: Some getting desperate for gas, long wait times near I-75s
    Hurricane Irma: Some getting desperate for gas, long wait times near I-75s
  • Hurricane Irma: J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge an easy cleanup
    Hurricane Irma: J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge an easy cleanup
  • Hurricane Irma: Rescued Brown Pelican brought to CROW
    Hurricane Irma: Rescued Brown Pelican brought to CROW
  • Update Hurricane Irma: A tree falls in Dunbar
    Update Hurricane Irma: A tree falls in Dunbar
  • Church distributes supplies
    Church distributes supplies
  • After Irma: schools review damage before cleanup efforts can start
    After Irma: schools review damage before cleanup efforts can start
  • Irma damage at Edison-Ford Estates
    Irma damage at Edison-Ford Estates
  • Hurricane Irma: People wait in line for Publix to open
    Hurricane Irma: People wait in line for Publix to open
  • Hurricane Irma breaks struggling community
    Hurricane Irma breaks struggling community
  • Hurricane Irma leaves Iona-McGregor residents tired
    Hurricane Irma leaves Iona-McGregor residents tired
  • Island Park Road flooding
    Island Park Road flooding
  • Miracle exec assessing damage at Hammond Stadium
    Miracle exec assessing damage at Hammond Stadium
  • Watch: Utilities trucks lined up for miles along Interstate 75
    Watch: Utilities trucks lined up for miles along Interstate 75
  • Hurricane Irma leaves Sanibel residents relieved
    Hurricane Irma leaves Sanibel residents relieved
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For more coverage of Hurricane Irma and the storm's aftermath visit: news-press.com/hurricane.

The Army Corps of Engineers will start releasing water from Lake Okeechobee later this week, but no water will be coming down the Caloosahatchee River, at least for now.

Lake Okeechobee is the liquid heart of what's left of the historic Everglades, and the lake was connected to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers in order to drain the wetlands for farming and development. 

The St. Lucie system will start to see water this week. The surface of the lake was 14.8 feet above sea level Thursday. 

More: Irma update: Where to get water, food in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples

More: Cape Coral's Chiquita Lock now inoperable due to damage from Hurricane Irma

“The lake has risen rapidly over the past week,” said Col. Jason Kirk, Jacksonville's district commander. “With projected inflows, (the lake) will rise to around 17 feet. The outflows we will begin tomorrow morning will help stem that rise though it will not stop it. With so much of hurricane season remaining, we want to slow the rise to the extent possible so we retain storage for future events.”

More: Irma update: Raw sewage backs up in neighborhoods across Lee County

More: Hurricane Irma update: What's that smell?

Army Corps protocols say the lake should be kept between 12.5 feet and 15.5 feet above sea level to protect thousands of people living south of the lake and to provide water for millions of residents and a massive agriculture industry. 

The Corps is not releasing water to Fort Myers because much of the area is still flooded from Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in Collier County Sunday. 

Connect with this reporter: Chad Gillis (@ChadGillisNP) on Twitter. 

 

 

 

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