Lake Okeechobee: High water levels causing concerns about surrounding dike

BELLE GLADE, Fla. - High water levels have triggered weekly inspections of Lake Okeechobee's aging earthen dike.

Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers say water levels rose above 15.5 feet Monday. That's the benchmark for weekly inspections of the dike that protects surrounding communities from flooding.

Corps spokeswoman Jenn Miller told The Palm Beach Post that there are no areas of concern along the Herbert Hoover Dike.

Local officials say high water levels increase the risk of the dike failing.

The corps has reinforced a 21-mile stretch of the dike and plans to replace culverts and other structures that have weakened since the dike was built in the 1930s. Rocks and boulders are stockpiled near the lake in the event of a breach.

Lake Okeechobee covers 730 square miles.

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