NewsRegion The Glades


As Lake Okeechobee levels rise, concerns about 'vulnerable' dike grow

Posted at 4:26 PM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 18:41:39-04

Lake Okeechobee water levels continue to rise Tuesday afternoon.  The lake is now well over 17 feet.

The concern is the levels will continue to rise because more water is flowing into the lake than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is discharging east and west.

Before Hurricane Irma levels were at 13.68 feet.

Now, more than a month later, the lake is at 17.20 feet.

Stephanie Busin lives less than 500 yards from the Herbert Hoover Dike.

"It's scary. I mean it's scary for loss of property," said Busin.

The Army Corps says inflows into the lake are nearly 11 billion gallons per day.

They are currently discharging nearly 5 billion gallons of lake water to the west and more than 1 billion gallons to the east.

Now there's concern about the southern portion of the dike.

Clewiston Mayor Mali Gardner is worried about those vulnerable spots where construction is still going on.

She calls it a no-win situation.

"Too much water south of the Lake. All the compartments are full. Shows the importance of stopping water north of the lake," said Gardner.

The Army Corps is currently conducting daily inspections on the dike.

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