Lake O Discharges Have Begun In Wake Of Irma

Blue-green algae in Black Lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is beginning to discharge water from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie Estuary.  

Hurricane Irma has caused the lake to rise just above 15 feet (15.04 feet), which is higher than where the Corps likes to keep it.  Lake Okeechobee has risen more than a foot in just the past week due to Hurricane Irma.  

The Corps estimates it will discharge between 1.3 billion to 2.6 billion gallons per day from the lake, but will cut back if the discharges pose a risk to flooding.  

Lake O discharges in the past have been linked to toxic algae crises, but the Army Corps district commander says that with so much of hurricane season remaining, the levels have to be brought down to avoid a breach of the dike surrounding the lake.



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