Lake O discharges pre-storm drawdown
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Tuesday, it had started making water releases from Lake Okeechobee, including some to the Stuart area. The Corps called it a pre-storm drawdown. The concerns are storm surge and the integrity of the levee around the lake. This has been identified as one of the nation’s most vulnerable dams.
The official forecast tracks for Hurricane Irma have kept the powerful Category 5 storm moving to the northwest, some of the so-called “spaghetti” models predict Irma will move right over, or near, Lake Okeechobee.
The Corps and emergency experts say a levee failure could force thousands of residents from their homes. It could put several hundred thousand acres of mostly farmland underwater. Lake Okeechobee remains surprisingly low for this time of year. Based on major rain events in the past, the situation could change quickly.
Our Indian Riverkeeper wrote this as he is concerned about the dike.