SUN SENTINEL: Lake Okeechobee's rising waters create costly consequences

Sun Sentinel: Written by Andy Reid. October 8, 2017.

he man-made danger of turning Florida’s Great Lake into an oversized retention pond is resurfacing again.

Lake Okeechobee’s rising waters have hit their highest point in 12 years — raising concerns about South Florida flooding risks.

The lake’s water level over the weekend pushed past 17 feet above sea level, which is nearly two feet above the maximum targeted to avoid flooding. It’s up more than 3 feet since Hurricane Irma soaked Florida.

Those rising waters threaten to overwhelm the lake’s leaky dike – a 30-foot-tall mound of rock, shell and sand relied on to keep the lake from swamping South Florida.

The more-than-70-year-old dike is already considered one of the country’s most at risk of failing and is in the midst of a decades-long rehab.

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