Lake O water to again flow into Caloosahatchee soon

FORT MYERS, Fla. Flows from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River will resume “as soon as capacity exists downstream,” the Army Corps of Engineers said.

High tidal cycles are slowing the amount of runoff that can pass through the spillway at the W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam in east Lee County, the Corps said. Releasing water now could aggravate flooding along the Caloosahatchee.

The lake stage is 14.83 feet and quickly rising, the Corps said. Flows could reach between 2,000 and 4,000 cubic feet per second once they begin.

Flows will begin Friday into the St. Lucie canal on the east side of the lake, the Corps said.

Lake releases are often blamed for murky water and algae in the river and along the coasts, but the Corps says they’re necessary to protect the aging Herbert Hoover Dike that surrounds the lake.