Published: Sep 20, 2013 4:03 PM EDT

Below is a news release WINK News just obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the water releases from Lake Okeechobee.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has announced plans to increase the water releases from Lake Okeechobee as part of efforts to manage the rising lake level.

The new target flow to the Caloosahatchee River is 4,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured from Moore Haven Lock & Dam (S-77).  The new target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary is 1,800 cfs as measured at the St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart.  The new target flows will be effective at 7 a.m. Saturday. 

“The above-average rainfall so far this month is a sharp contrast to the drier conditions experienced last month,” said Lt. Col. Tom Greco, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander for South Florida.  “Keeping with trends so far this wet season, we anticipate local basin runoff will continue to be a significant source of flows through the Franklin and St. Lucie Locks.”

The current lake level is 15.67 feet.  Under the Corps’ water control plan, the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS), water management operations are structured to keep the lake at a seasonally-adjusted level between 12.5 and 15.5 feet.  The Corps will closely monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary. 

For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management page at the Jacksonville District website:

http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterManagement.aspx