The Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is coordinating closely with Federal agencies, state, local, and tribal government officials in Florida to support local residents and prepare for the impacts of Tropical Storm Nicole on the state, our facilities, and projects.
We urge residents to pay attention to the news and immediately follow any county evacuation orders that are issued.
We made several updates to the Tropical Storm Nicole website today based on questions from reporters and changes to our operations. Here are the highlights:
LAKE OKEECHOBEE AND ESTUARY OPERATIONS:
All structures USACE uses to release water from the Herbert Hoover Dike are now closed. That includes the Port Mayaca Lock and Dam (S-308).o Releases from the S-80 will need to continue when necessary to manage local runoff for flood control purposes. o With S-308 closed, lock operators will only be able to maintain the C-44 canal level to avoid local flooding by releasing water out of the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80). o As the storm approaches, the storm surge will increase water levels within the St. Lucie Estuary and impact properties. o Releases from S-80 will not include water from Lake Okeechobee and will be curtailed as soon as weather and C-44 canal conditions allow.
OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY NAVIGATION
USACE will operate its navigation locks on the Okeechobee Waterway for extended hours while it is safe to do so. As of Nov 8, 2022, the locks are operating from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.• For the safety of the lock operators who are locking down at the facilities before and during the storm, the Jacksonville District will suspend operations when lightning is in the area or when winds reach 35 miles per hour. • The Canaveral Lock closed Nov. 9 when weather conditions became unsafe for continued operation. o In the 48 hours before closure, Canaveral Lock moved 222 vessels during 59 lockages. o In that same timeframe, the St. Lucie lock moved 96 vessels during 25 lockages.
RECREATION FACILITY UPDATES:
• Currently the recreation facilities at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam are closed after suffering damage from Hurricane Ian.• All recreation facilities at the St. Lucie Lock are closing, including the campground, day use area, and visitor centers. A reopening date will be determined after the storm has passed and any damage can be assessed. • All other campgrounds and recreation facilities managed by the Corps of Engineers in Florida are still open.
We will continue to update important information about our activities to prepare for Tropical Storm Nicole on our website at https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Nicole and to send information out to media through news releases and media advisories. You can also follow us on Tiwtter @JaxStrong or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict.