Water-Related News

Corps: Discharges more likely if Lake O keeps rising so quickly

Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie River could be likely this summer if the lake continues to rise quickly, the Army Corps of Engineers said Monday.

The lake's elevation has risen more than a foot in the last month to 12 feet, 4 inches Monday morning.

"It's way too early to say if we'll need to make releases to the St. Lucie River," Col. Andrew Kelly, the Corps commander for Florida, said during a phone-in news conference Monday afternoon, but "the rising lake gives us pause."

There's no specific lake elevation that would cause the Corps to start discharges, Kelly said.

But discharges could be possible, he added, "if we were to see the lake level continue to increase at the rate it is now and get into the 13- to 14-foot range early in the rainy season."

The rainy season typically starts around June 1; this year it started May 15. Dry season typically starts in October.