OKEECHOBEE — As the rain bands from Tropical Storm Eta dropped heavy precipitation on South Florida over the weekend, most of the water flowing east through the St. Lucie Lock and west through the Franklin Lock on the Caloosahatchee River was local basin runoff.
On Monday, there was no flow from the lake into the St. Lucie Canal (C-44 canal) at Port Mayaca. The flow at the St. Lucie Lock, which averaged 2,154 cubic feet per second (about 1.4 billion gallons per day), was all local basin runoff.
That same day, flow from the lake at Moore Haven averaged 4,030 cfs and flow at the Franklin Lock averaged 9,830 cfs (about 6.3 billion gallons per day).
No water flowed from the lake to the area south of the Big O as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District focused on efforts to reduce flooding in the water conservation areas north of the Tamiami Trail, even as direct rainfall south of the lake continues to raise water levels there.
Thanks to an emergency deviation in the regular release schedule, the S-12 gates that allow flow under the trail remain open. (The schedule called for two gates to close on Nov. 1 to protect the nesting grounds of the Cape Sable seaside sparrow.) In spite of these efforts, on Monday the water level in WCA-3A was more than 2 feet above schedule at 12.54 feet. (Schedule calls for 10.50 ft.).
WCA-1 is also high, measured 17.58 at one site and 17.64 at the other measuring site. The schedule calls for a level of 17.50 ft.
WCA-2A should be 12.35 ft., according to the regulation schedule. On Monday, one site measured 14.97 ft. and the other site measured 14.11 ft.