The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doubled to twice a month the frequency of inspections of the 143-mile earthen dike along Lake Okeechobee. The inspection schedule for the Herbert Hoover Dike will increase to weekly if the lake rises to 16 feet above sea level. The lake, which spans 730 square miles, recently rose to 15.57 feet above sea level, which led the Army Corps of Engineers to release more lake water into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.
John Campbell, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, told the Palm Beach Post there is no “imminent danger of the dike failing. Our concern is a heavy rain event that causes the water to jump three feet before we can open enough outflow to get rid of it.” Fresh water outflows from the lake were blamed for a massive bloom of algae that blanketed waterways in the Treasure Coast area with thick green muck in June and July. [Palm Beach Post] – Mike Seemuth