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As Lake O levels rise, so do community concerns

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – There’s a serious dilemma brewing at Lake Okeechobee.

Lake levels have now exceeded 16 feet, which means the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting weekly inspections of the Herbert Hoover Dike.

The Corps could start doing daily inspections if levels reach 17 feet.

Read more from WPTV.

Clewiston mayor: ‘In a blink of an eye everything changed’ with Hurricane Irma

Panic and pandemonium.

That’s how the mayor of Clewiston described her town in the hours and days before Hurricane Irma hit this rural farming town.

“In a blink of an eye everything changed for our community when we had to have the mandatory evacuation,” said Mayor Mali Gardner at a South Florida Water Management District meeting Thursday in West Palm.

Read more from the News-Press.

Lake Okeechobee continues to rise after hurricane

As runoff from Hurricane Irma continues to drain south through the Kissimmee River basin, the level of Lake Okeechobee is rapidly rising.

The week before the storm hit, the lake level was 13.5 ft. (above sea level).

Just a week after the storm made landfall, the lake had risen 2 feet.

On Tuesday, the lake level was 15.66 ft.

Read more from the Okeechobee News.

After Irma, Slow-Moving Crisis Headed For Lake Okeechobee

The winds and outer bands of Hurricane Irma are long gone, but as rainwater drains south through Florida’s rivers and watersheds, the storm still presents a slow-moving crisis headed right for Lake Okeechobee.

Read more from WLRN.

Okeechobee County discusses mandatory sewer hookups

OKEECHOBEE — Mandatory sewer hookups were a topic of discussion at the Sept. 14 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commission.

County administrator Robbie Chartier said Okeechobee Utility Authority wants to do some expansion and they want to make sure the language in the existing county ordinance requires homeowners to hook up to sewer if the lines run close enough to their homes to do so.

Read more from the Okeechobee News.

Lake Okeechobee is rising — why can’t they send the water south?

When the sun rose on Monday morning, we could see Hurricane Irma’s immediate damage — homes damaged or destroyed, roads flooded, massive trees toppled, power lines down. But the hurricane’s aftermath continues to threaten South Florida as the water left by the storm drains south into Lake Okeechobee.

Read more from the Okeechobee News.

After Irma: Florida agriculture losses widespread, billions in damage

Palm Beach County and Florida agricultural producers ventured into their fields and groves after Hurricane Irma to find oranges ripped from trees, shade houses gone, vegetable beds ruined, sugar cane flattened and power poles and lines down.

Read more from the Palm Beach Post

Crops in the Glades hit hard by Hurricane Irma

Irma’s fury hit the Glades region hard especially the agricultural industry near Lake Okeechobee.

Some farmers say Irma caused losses up to 25 to 30 percent.

Read more from WPTV.

Glades residents coping with Irma effects

PAHOKEE, Fla. (CBS12) — Hurricane Irma furiously blew through western Palm Beach County, leaving Glades residents cleaning up, and in many cases, trying to dry out.

Read more from WPEC.

Gov. Scott orders evacuations of seven cities around Lake Okeechobee

Gov. Rick Scott ordered mandatory evacuations from seven cities around Lake Okeechobee Friday because of the risks of winds from Hurricane Irma driving water to populated areas, his office said in a statement Thursday evening.

The cities affected are South Bay, Lake Harbor, Pahokee, Moore Haven, Clewiston, Belle Glade and Canal Point.

Read more from the Palm Beach Post.