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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Florida's Treasure Coast

    Water managers: Lake Okeechobee flood wouldn't be New Orleans-scale

    This is in my backyard. I imagine places all over the US need to take a look at whats going on with their dams, dikes, etc.

    Water managers: Lake Okeechobee flood wouldn't be New Orleans-scale

    By Charlie Reed
    staff writer

    September 2, 2005

    Federal and state water managers tried to allay fears Thursday that Lake Okeechobbee could overflow like Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain if a Katrina-like storm hits Florida's largest body of water.

    As the death toll rises from massive flooding caused by two broken levees in New Orleans, officials from the Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District said the likelihood of widespread disaster from a Lake Okeechobee flood is unlikely.


    localnewsadtag();Canals that dump excess lake water into the St. Lucie River to the east and the Caloosahatchee River to the west, along with an extensive system of reservoirs and water conservation areas south of the lake, would disperse the water and prevent dangerous flooding, they said.

    Protecting South Florida hinges on the 140-mile-long Herbert Hoover dike that needs repair and only was designed to sustain a Category 3 hurricane like the New Orleans flood protection system, which the corps also operates.

    The earthen dike was erected after thousands drowned in Belle Glade and other areas south of the lake because of hurricane-related flooding in 1928.

    Officials said the chance of a modern-day breach is reduced by the lake's inland position, 30 miles from the East Coast and 70 miles from the West Coast. New Orleans where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico was pounded by a relentless storm surge from the ocean.

    The first phase of dam restoration is set to begin by the end of the year, said project engineer Jacob Davis. The 4.6-mile segment stretching from Port Mayaca south will cost between $10 million and $25 million, he said.

    Finding real estate and funds to complete the remainder of repairs continues to be a challenge for the corps, said Luis Ruiz, chief of geotechnology at the agency's regional headquarters in Jacksonville.

    In the meantime, if the Herbert Hoover is compromised, flooding could reach as far north as St. Lucie and Martin counties, said water managers, who would not release a map of potential flood zones for "security reasons."

    Despite the National Hurricane Center's recent prediction that an active hurricane period could be seen over the next 10 to 20 years, there are no plans to strengthen the dike. "As new information becomes available we may decide to increase the height of the dam," Ruiz said. "Right now, there's no concern."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Many times over the last few days, I've recalled vivid passages from Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and wondered about Lake Okeechobee. I hope you all stay safe.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    That article was written very ill informed.

    First off an its not *IF* its when the damn breaks it will flood all of South Florida South from there and west of the turnpike.

    It was presumed last year when the hurricianes hit that it would happen and they had one hell of a time reducing the water level fast enough to prevent it.
    And during the hurricianes they weren't sure if they had or not. It was a wait and see game..

    We have plenty of friends with water management here in Florida
    and this is not some top secret thing the information is available for any one to find and figure out.

    East of 95 is a surge zone
    There is however a ridge between 95 and the turnpike.. and that area should be safe from the flooding or storm surge.
    Despite the Claims by the reporter, There is no "security reasons"
    The freakin most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

    Not to hard to figure out what once was swamp will be again.

    SO if they mean the number of people possibly they are right in that it won't be NOLA but tht is because that area of florida isn't as populated as NOLA not because of some safety with that damn.
    THe issues are there and funny how the article claims
    "Ruiz said. "Right now, there's no concern."

    That is straight up BS unless he meant right now as in the now when he said it Becaue the Right now during a hurriciane you bet your Bootie it is a concern.
    And it was a concern last year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Ahhhh....another reason to be thankful that I don't live there anymore. I lived west of I-95/
    Retired 08/03/03

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Wow, I have fished many times in the lake. I have pictures that show the lake over the outer canal bank, and docking for fuel and supplies at the campground when the water level was high enough to step onto the dock. Then several years later we had to climb that same ladder. I have been there when the locks were open to the canals and also when we had to wait to go through the system.

    Here is a link to the 1928 Hurricane and flood at Okechobee. I did have at one time a book about this.


    It's an interesting storm and is the reason that the lake has a dike today. Fortunately, the foolish state legislators years ago did not get their way to build a canal accross the state that would have destroyed the Everglades.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Florida's Treasure Coast
    Well, I'll be...i headed out yonder to see Okeechobee once, way back in '69, but as I noticed homes with the washers outside, running in the rain, and some shacks that looked like a concentration camp, I decided I best keep my butt east of 95. LOL But I don't know anyone here.

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