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Irma alarms communities around Lake Okeechobee

Posted at 9:03 PM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 04:35:21-04

As Hurricane Irma make's its way towards South Florida, there's a growing panic in communities around Lake Okeechobee.

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Homeowners are worried the Herbert Hoover Dike protecting thousands of people won't hold if a storm hits.

The good news is the lake is at a reasonable 13.5 feet.

Irma reminds Patricia Wallace of Pahokee of tragedy in her past.

"I've seen homes destroyed," said Wallace. "Safe in God's arms, but we do not trust the dike.

Right now she and thousands of others are preparing for the worst.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson says he's seen storms drop three feet of rain on the lake.

The hope if Irma passes through, levels stay under 18 feet.

The Corps is ready to start discharges into the St. Lucie River if levels get too high.

At the Pahokee Marina, Patricia prays for her community.

"We hold onto the memories of a safe community, a beautiful community and we really need that."