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Rain from Tropical Storm Gordon concerns Glades communities

Posted: 11:14 PM, Sep 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-04 08:21:41Z

As the rain poured down from Tropical Storm Gordon on Labor Day, people in the Glades had the Herbert Hoover Dike on their minds.

"Every single day the residents, as well as myself, in this community, we ponder the fact that the Herbert Hoover Dike may not protect us at some point," said Tammy Jackson Moore, who lives in Belle Glade.

An inch of rain fell north of Lake Okeechobee over 24 hours from Sunday evening to Monday evening. That water eventually drains into the lake. An inch or more of rain also fell on the southern side of the lake.

“Every time we come into hurricane season especially in this community there’s a heightened level of concern," Moore said.

Lake Okeechobee is at 14.57 feet, according to the latest report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is higher than it was before Hurricane Irma hit last year.

People are worried if another big storm comes this way, the Herbert Hoover Dike could breach.

"If we don’t release some water, this community that we’re standing in today would probably be nonexistent," Moore said.

People on the Treasure Coast have pushed back against lake discharges to the east because of ongoing issues this summer from blue-green algae. They encourage the water to go south.

"We want to work with our coastal neighbors to come up with a solution and fix the problem," Moore said.

However, those long-term solutions like the sped-up timeline to complete the repairs on the Herbert Hoover Dike or the construction of the Southern Reservoir, aren't able to provide immediate relief of concerns of potentially disastrous flooding.

“We have to release water because it saves lives right here in this community," Moore said.