Army Corps of Engineers: Lake Okeechobee flows to slow
Water from Lake Okeechobee and rainfall within the Caloosahatchee watershed are causing water quality issues in the river's estuary. Wochit
The Caloosahatchee River and its estuary will get a little relief soon as the Army Corps of Engineers plans to slow releases starting Friday.
Flows since Hurricane Irma have at times been at maximum flow, with billions of gallons being released from Lake Okeechobee daily.
"Today marks the end of hurricane season," said Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds, with the Corps office in Jacksonville. "The lake remains high, although it continues to recede. We are reducing flows to the coasts based on guidance in the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule. This reflects a balance between conserving water in the lake for this dry season while reducing the lake level prior to next storm season."
Flows west to the Caloosahatchee will be reduced to about 2.6 billion gallons a day.
The Corps cited Lake O's steady drop in elevation, the end of the rainy season in late October and the end of the hurricane season Thursday as reasons for the action.
Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie River will be cut back Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday afternoon.
The target flow into the river through the St. Lucie Lock and Dam will be slightly less than 1.2 billion gallons a day, according to a news release.
TCPalm.com contributed to this report.