Citizens of South Florida are concerned. Rumors have been around that if Lake Okeechobee was to feel the direct impact of Cat 4 or higher, there
could be severe flooding in the area causing not only extensive property damage but also loss of lives of many who live in the surrounding area.
Lake Okeechobee levies were built to withstand a Category 3 hurricane after a hurricane in 1928 killed about 2000 people when it overflowed. Now there
are reports of several sections of the levees are in need of major repairs and need constant patching up. If one of these sections were to give way,
we would have a repeat of the Katrina New Orleans disaster here in Florida.
Report warns that Lake Okeechobee
dike could break open during hurricane
Corps says its aware Lake Okeechobee levee issue
Now basically it comes down to the Corps saying yeah we know we problems and yes it could happen, but basically we having managing it for x number of
years and we'll continue to do so in the same manner. Fixing what breaks as it happens, is what I get from their stance.
Army Corps officials downplay dangers from
dike problems at Lake Okeechobee
So now we have a situation like Katrina, without the actual Katrina looming towards us... as of yet.. But what should Florida do? And who should we
listen to and who will take the blame if and when Lake Okeechobee breaches. Right now the current suggestion from certain state representatives is to
lower the lake by 2 feet to 11 feet, it's currently at 13 feet and is only able to contain about 21 feet or so of water. Now it has never gone over
18 feet, so could it be that all this alarmism is for nothing as the Army Engineer Corps would like us to believe?
With the tropical activity set to remain above normal for the next few years, I would think this would be a top priority for the surrounding counties
and the state. Do we really need to watch what happen to New Orleans happen here before we fix it? I hope not or might start believing in some of
those conspiracies about the Army corps of engineers being the ones to purposedly allow the new orleans levees to break.
The key thing though that everyone needs to keep in mind, is that in every conference, meeting, warning, article, etc, coming from city, state and
federal government, is that you the individual are completely responsible for yourself. We'll try to help you, but honestly don't count on it is
the message and motto for disaster and hurricane preparedness this year. And while I agree with that message to a certain extent, I still think that
this passing the buck onto us for our complete safety is a little too much and the government is now brushing the failure to handle their
responsibilities on to us. As individuals it should be our responsibility to prepare and survive the actual event..hurricane or whatever in our
homes, however when it comes to things like utilities, highway control for mass evacuations and Lake Okeecheebee, the government, city, state and
federal need to step up to plate and handle the problem BEFORE it happens.
btw...here's a map of Lake Okeechobee and it's relation to South Florida, with the surrounding cities around it.
[edit on 5-11-2006 by worldwatcher]