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FILE Photo: Water being released from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River on October 29, 2018. Credit: WINK News.

Moore Haven Lock and Dam closed indefinitely near Lake Okeechobee

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports Monday the Moore Haven Lock and Dam near Lake Okeechobee in Glades County is closed to all types of boats until further notice. The block includes canals to the north and south.

According to USACE, due to the extensive formation of tussocks (floating islands of vegetation) and high winds, portions of the Okeechobee Waterway have become impassable for marine vessel traffic.

In the meantime, boaters may travel locally on the Okeechobee Waterway, for example, Stuart to Indiantown, or Fort Myers to Ortona, and local fishing will be available on Lake Okeechobee, but can only access the lake through Port Mayaca and the State of Florida-owned locks located around Lake Okeechobee.

Other restricted areas include large areas of Route #2 from Uncle Joe’s Fish Camp to Structure S-282 (Culvert C-5A at the north entrance to the Rim Canal). There are buoy lines at the entrance of the rim canal to restrict access to the affected areas. No vessels are allowed in these restricted areas. Maintenance crews and the Corps’ floating crane plant have been working on this issue, but there is currently no estimated time for completion due to the large expanse of tussock coverage.

The South Florida Operations Office is advising against thru-vessel traffic for the safety of all boaters.

In addition, congestion of affected areas by vessels creates safety and work hazards for Corps Operations crews working to restore navigation. It may be days, or even weeks before the Corps is able to eliminate these blockages.

Writer:WINK News
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