Less Lake O water to flow into Caloosahatchee

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FORT MYERS, Fla. The amount of potentially harmful water going into the Caloosahatchee River is being cut again.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday will reduce the flows from Lake Okeechobee for the second time in two weeks, the Corps said in a press release.

The Corps had been letting as much as possible water out of the lake prior to Nov. 17, the last time it lowered flows.

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Thursday’s lake stage is 16.12 feet, the Corps said, down from the historic 17.2 feet it reached in the wake of the storm. The 17.2-foot peak was the highest lake stage since 2004.

Still, the water is higher than the Corps would like. Its preferred range is 12.5-15.5 feet. The Corps continues to inspect the southern half of the dike once per week and the northern half twice weekly.

No structural issues with the dike have been identified, the Corps said.

Lake water is frequently blamed for toxic algae blooms and murky water along the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers. But high water levels in the lake threaten the aging Herbert Hoover Dike.

Beginning Friday, the target for water flow into the Caloosahatchee will be reduced from 6,500 cubic feet per second to 4,000, as measured at the Moore Haven Lock and Dam, the Corps said.

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