US Army Corps pumps canal water back into Lake Okeechobee
TCPalm covers the canal that connects Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie estuaries has reached an alarming high, making for concern as heavy rain is projected for the weekend forecast and interviews Mark Perry.
The canal that connects Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie estuaries has reached an alarming high, making for concern as heavy rain is projected for the weekend forecast.
While the lake sits at a historic low, the canal water at Port Mayaca is nearly three feet higher than Lake Okeechobee's elevation.
"There's a very rare time when the elevation of the lake is lower than the elevation of the canal," said Mark Perry, Executive Director of Florida Oceanographic Society. "If we get heavy rain or big tropical events, it could change that very dramatically."
The rain that is expected to fall this weekend could worsen events and bring quick-moving run-off with fertilizer nutrients from Martin County to the west.
"It's not good for the lake to get any nutrients," Perry said. "If they let the canal fill up and get to a dangerous level, they have to discharge it out to the estuary."
Thus, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is lessening the load and opening the locks, pumping 382 million gallons of canal water back into Lake Okeechobee.
"We're trying to control it, where it goes and when it goes," Perry said. "That's the problem we get into."