NewsProtecting Paradise


Glades residents concerned about Herbert Hoover Dike, reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee

Posted at 11:43 AM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 21:01:22-04

Belle Glade is one of several communities that depends on the Herbert Hoover Dike to stop Lake Okeechobee from flooding.

"Every night people go to bed concerned about the integrity of the dike because we do know there are structural issues," said Tammy Jackson-Moore of Belle Glade.

Linda Johnson-Earsley lives in South Bay. "I've always been concerned especially during hurricane season because of the pressure it would put on the levee."  

Right now the dike is under repair and it's going to take about another 4 years to finish.

Every time water levels rise, the Army Corps of Engineers inspects the dike and decides if discharges are needed.

When asked about the level of concern for residents in the Glades, John Campbell with the Army Corps of Engineers Corporate Communication Office said: "We share those concerns. In fact we have a program in place. That's why we manage water in Lake Okeechobee to keep it rising too high, too fast.”

A reservoir south of the lake could lower discharges by more than 60 percent. Campbell said the Army Corps of Engineers wasn't ready to comment on the reservoir yet.

Many in the Glades are, including Jackson-Moore. "We deserve an opportunity to thrive just like any other community."

Johnson-Earsley and Jackson-Moore hope the reservoir project uses mostly local labor and is built on land already owned by the state.

 "We understand the blue-green algae. We don't like seeing that in the water bodies just as much as people who live on the water don't want to see it. We want to be a part of the solution,” said Jackson-Moore.