Army Corps says it won’t send Lake O releases to Caloosahatchee for now

Published: September 24, 2020 3:19 PM EDT
Updated: September 25, 2020 3:52 PM EDT

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday it will not do any releases from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River at the moment, despite the lake being at 15.24 feet. This comes as a sigh of relief this afternoon for many working near and living along the Caloosahatchee.

Still the Army Corps believes it will have to make releases before rainy season ends. Immediately, it said it was able to channel some water south of the lake to a water conservation area. But the Army Corps says there will likely come a point when there won’t be enough capacity to have lake water flow south.

The Corps also shared that it received approval for what’s called a harmful algal bloom deviation. This means, in the future, the Corps can hold off on lake releases when there are algal blooms present in the lake.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide another update next week regarding Lake O releases and sooner if necessary.

As for the possibility of discharges to Gulf Coast, the Corps says it’s taking it week-by-week and almost day-by-day.

“That doesn’t mean that nothing’s coming,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, the district commander for the Army Corps. “October’s still a tough month for potential hurricanes, but at this point, we’re taking it one day at a time. Our goal is to keep the system balanced.”