Governor to hold news conference on water issues
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - As the rain continues to fall, concern over fresh-water releases from Lake Okeechobee continues to rise.
In fact, 4 In Your Corner learned today the governor is holding a news conference Wednesday morning on the issue at Centennial Park in Fort Myers.
This day 4 In Your Corner went out with water managers to see what they're doing about the problem. the South Florida Water Management District tells us, less water is today flowing into Lake Okeechobee than is flowing out.
But they say a majority of the water now flowing through the Caloosahatchee River and out to the coast is run-off.
To gauge the the situation caused by this season's above-average rain fall, the South Florida Water Management District surveyed the region by helicopter, checking for sheet flow at the Four Corners, where Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties meet. Their flight also went over North Fort Myers and South Lee County.
"There is some isolated flooding, a lot of water on the ground, in the pastures but nothing unusual for this time of the year," says Phil Flood, the Intergovernmental Director of the SFWMD.
The district also took us out to its biggest project to help water quality, a 10,000 acre water storage site just east of La Belle in Hendry County -- and the future home of the C-43 reservoir.
Flood says the SFWMD brought in some pumps last month to start diverting water from the the river and temporarily store it there. "Right now the SFWMD has one pump going, and it says it's brought in a second it expects to start pumping water by next week," reports 4 In Your Corner's Liza Fernandez.
"When we get the pump operations, we'll run it for eight to ten hours a day, monitor the water levels out here and keep running it as long as we can store water out here," adds Flood.
Other SFWMD projects coming on line for this rainy season include, Mirror Lakes in Lehigh Acres, a water storage site known as BOMA in Glades County near Ortona, along with the C-43 site. The governor's news conference starts at 10 am.