November 10, 2016
Lake O flows into Caloosahatchee to hit dry-season level
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Water flows from Lake Okeechobee into the
Caloosahatchee River are going into typical dry-season mode starting Friday.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will reduce the flows to a weekly
average of 650 cubic feet per second as measured at the W.P. Franklin Lock and
Dam in east Lee County. That’s down from 1,425 cubic feet per second, the level
the Corps set last week.
It’s the culmination of a series of reductions that’s taken place
since the flows reached peak levels in October during the passage of Hurricane
Flows go up and down based on the amount of water in the lake as
the Corps manages the aging Hoover Dike that surrounds it. Water from the lake
is often cited for environmental issues downstream and around the mouth of the
Caloosahatchee in Lee County.
“Mother Nature challenged us this year,” said Col. Jason Kirk,
Jacksonville district commander of the Corps. “With above-average precipitation
saturating the system, our strong federal-state partnership came into action.
We took measures necessary to reduce the impacts, but recognize much remains to
be done over the coming years to create a water management system in south
Florida that is more environmentally friendly.”