JACKSONVILLE — The US Army Corps of Engineers is notifying the public that 72 hours prior to a tropical storm or hurricane making local landfall, locks along the Okeechobee Waterway will be open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the Canaveral Lock will be open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., to support vessel safe harbor passage. Lock operations will stop eight hours prior to landfall, as railroad and drawbridges will be lowered or rotated and locked into a secure position. It’s important that all vessels are at their intended destination before bridges are secured and passage across the waterway suspended.
For Lock Operator safety, the locks will:
1. Stop locking vessels or working outdoors if lightning is observed within five miles of the lock, and operations will not resume until lightning has not been seen in the area for 30 minutes.
2. Stop locking vessels when winds exceed 35 mph.
After a storm, it could be days or weeks before the waterway is reopened, depending on damage to structures and how quickly debris creating navigation hazards can be removed. When locking is resumed, it will be at the site’s normal locking hours: Okeechobee Waterway Locks from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Canaveral Harbor Lock 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
2. Contact Information
For up to date Lock information, contact the shift operator 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at:
• St Lucie Lock & Dam at 772-287-2665 or 863-662-9148
• Port Mayaca Lock & Dam at 561-924-2858 or 863-662-9424
• Julian Keen, Jr. Lock & Dam at 863-946-0414 or 863-662-9533