LAKE OKEECHOBEE -- Lake Okeechobee edged over the 14 feet above sea level mark last week, rising about 9 inches in the past month.
Still targeting 1,000 cfs to the west, measured out of S-79. “It’s almost been zero lake water to the Caloosahatchee,” since the wet season started, Col. Andrew Kelly, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District explained Aug. 13, 2021.
For the seven day period ending Aug. 16, flow at the S-79 structure (Franklin Lock) on the Caloosahatchee River averaged 2,567 cfs. When the flow from local basin runoff is sufficient to provide the minimum target flow of 1,000 cfs, no lake water is released to the river.
With the lake over 14 feet, the C-44 canal will be managed through the S-80 structure (St. Lucie Lock). For the seven day period ending Aug. 16, flow averaged 153 cfs.
“Once you get up to 14 feet on the lake, the canal doesn’t flow back into the lake anymore. It only goes one direction,” said Kelly. “If the canal gets too high, we open up S-80 and the basin runoff in the canal goes to the St. Lucie. It’s no lake water. It’s the basin water in the canal that flows to the St. Lucie.”
The C-44 canal is managed between 14 and 14.5 feet, he explained. The canal is managed to prevent flooding in the basin. He said the S-80 structure is opened as needed to prevent basin flooding.
Flow south under the Tamiami Trail is averaging about 1,500 cfs, Kelly said.
Kelly said over the past week, conditions have not been good for algae growth and they have not seen spikes in the algae growth in recent weeks.