The National Weather Service is forecasting above average rainfall for the coming months.
Meanwhile the gates at the St. Lucie Lock are closed. “We don’t need them opened up,” said Tom Nolin at Riverland Marina in Stuart.
Storm Team 5 Chief Meteorologist Steve Weagle weighed in on the forecast. “We’re starting to see El Nino conditions to develop in the Pacific and typically that means wetter than normal conditions for Florida in the winter and early spring,” said Weagle.
A spokesperson with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says they are aware of the forecasts and will monitor Lake Okeechobee on a week by week basis.
Their goal is to keep lake levels at a safe level heading into the wet season. Right now the lake remains below 13 feet.
Martin Count Ecosystem Manager John Maehl is monitoring the situation too. He says salinity levels have drastically improved along the St. Lucie River.
He understand the dilemma of discharging water. “If there was a discharge schedule that metered the water at rate that didn’t impact too greatly we would be agreeable to that,” said Maehl.
No decisions have been made on discharges yet.