July 9, 2021
If you are like me, it feels like 2021 is flying by. With the Fourth of July weekend having just passed, now is a good time to review this year’s southern Martin County discharges into the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. In order to do this, I am presenting a wonderful chart created by my brother, Todd Thurlow. It is one of the many, displayed “in easy to read fashion,” on his web-site under “live-data” EyeOnLakeO.
The image is best viewed large, but I’ll review first. Let’s look at how the chart is set up. Months are along the bottom and water amounts along the sides. We can easily see the green lines above 0. These lines show the times so far this year when the ACOE has been discharging from Lake Okeechobee. Blue lines show the surrounding basin runoff of the C-44 Canal. The red line displays S-308 Daily and the cream color shows S-308 Cumulative. S-308 is the structure at Lake Okeechobee; it can allow water to flow in two directions: from the lake into the canal, or from the canal into the lake. When the red line goes below 0 this means the water from the C-44 canal is going back into the lake. This is usually done for water supply reasons, is part of the historic lake operating schedule, and no matter when it’s done, is beneficial to the St Lucie.
My brother pointed out on Saturday, July 3, 2021, that the back flow was -3,344 cubic feet per second. This may have been occurring because the canals were being lowered for Tropical Storm Elsa. Todd notes “how different the weekend would have been with 3,344 cubic feet per second coming into the St Lucie River. All the weekend sandbar people would be flushed out with green brown water.”
Take a look at Todd’s chart, and hopefully you had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend.