As Lake Okeechobee levels rise, so do community concerns

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - There's a serious dilemma brewing at Lake Okeechobee.

Lake levels have now exceeded 16 feet, which means the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting weekly inspections of the Herbert Hoover Dike.

The Corps could start doing daily inspections if levels reach 17 feet.

"When I see this water, all I see is 1928 all over again," said Pastor Albert Polk in South Bay.

He says people in The Glades are asking him one specific question.

"Should I pack up and go or should I stay," said Polk.

A Corps spokesperson says inflows into the Lake are nearly 20,000 cubic feet per second.

"The biggest request is start releasing some of the water on a much faster basis than they're doing now," said Tammy Jackson-Moore of the Guardians of the Glades.

The Corps is releasing billions of gallons of water into the St. Lucie River everyday, but that won't increase for the time being because of flooding concerns downstream.

A Corps spokesperson says the dike can suffer erosion if lake levels reach 17.5 feet.

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