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Video: How a drop of water at Disney can pollute the St. Lucie River
Here’s why that Lake O reservoir is necessary. DACIA JOHNSON/TCPALM
The Army Corps of Engineers won’t discharge Lake Okeechobee water to the St. Lucie River for now, Col. Andrew Kelly, the Corps commander for Florida, announced Friday.
Discharges are still likely, Kelly added in the phone-in news conference.
“It is likely we’ll have to send water to the estuaries before the (rainy) season is over,” Kelly said. “We don’t want to, but if we have to, we will.”
More: Corps could delay Lake O discharges because of king tides, algae
The discharges, which Kelly had warned might be coming, were postponed because the Corps and the South Florida Water Management District were able to find places south of the lake to send it instead.
Lake Okeechobee’s elevation was 15 feet 3 inches Thursday morning.
The lake has risen almost 3 inches in the last week and slightly over a foot in the last 30 days.
The lake is a foot and a half higher than it was a year ago.
Nearly 243.3 million gallons of water — all from the C-44 Canal watershed and none from Lake Okeechobee — flowed Wednesday through the St. Lucie Lock and Dam.
This report will be updated.
Tyler Treadway is an environment reporter who specializes in issues facing the Indian River Lagoon. Support his work on TCPalm.com. Contact him at 772-221-4219 and firstname.lastname@example.org.