WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Federal officials say above-average rainfall this month has forced them to increase the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases water from the lake to reduce pressure on the aging Herbert Hoover Dike. Parts of the earthen dike date to the 1930s.
The water is directed into the Caloosahatchee River and the St. Lucie estuary. Critics say polluted freshwater from the lake has ravaged those ecosystems this summer.
Drier conditions in August allowed the Corps to reduce the flow of water from the lake. However, Lt. Col. Tom Greco says above-average rainfall returned in September.
Water levels in the lake were at 15.75 feet Monday. The Corps aims to keep that level between 12.5 feet and 15.5 feet.