Lake Okeechobee was at 16.3 feet on Nov. 18 and is still rising.
In a Nov. 18 media briefing, Col. James Booth, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District commander, said the lake rise has slowed, but thanks to Hurricane Nicole, more water is moving south down the Kissimmee River pushing the lake even higher.
He said flow for the past week averaged 6,226 cubic feet per second (cfs) into the lake, with most of that water coming from the Kissimmee River basin.
Booth said satellite imagery indicates low risk for algae blooms. Water samplings have not detected any blue-green algae toxins since June. He said there was some duck weed near the Port Mayaca Lock, but it was not blue-green algae.
He said red tide has been observed in many coastal areas, with fish kills reported in Lee County. The red tide bloom could get worse before it gets better. Red tide is a marine algae.
Booth said no water is moving south from the lake because the stormwater treatment areas (STAs) in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) were filled to capacity by the double impacts of Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole. The water conservation areas (WCAs) that accept water from the STAs are also above schedule.
Water is moving under the Tamiami Trail at about 2,500 cfs.
In October, more than 200,000 acre feet of water moved under the Tamiami Trail from the Water Conservation Areas (WCAs) to Everglades National Park. This calendar year, more than 1 million acre feet of water has moved under the Tamiami.