U.S. Army Corps will suspend water flows to the St. Lucie Estuary beginning Friday

Posted at 11:50 AM, Nov 03, 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday it will suspend water flowing from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary and reduce flows to Caloosahatchee Estuary.

The Corps cited falling water levels in the lake as the reason.

It said no water from the lake will be released through the St. Lucie Lock near Stuart.  This is the first time since late January that discharges have been suspended from the St. Lucie Lock after a wetter than usual dry season last winter.

However, the Corps says runoff from rain that accumulates in the St. Lucie basin will be allowed to pass through the spillway.

“Drier weather has taken hold and the lake continues to recede,” Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District, said in a news release.  “Barring an unexpected heavy-rain event, we expect the recession to continue.  We can safely suspend releases to the St. Lucie and will continue reducing flows to the Caloosahatchee from 2,800 cfs to 650 cfs over the coming week."

The water level at the lake stands at 15.40 feet which the Corps says is down .21 feet over the past week.

The changes announced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin Friday.