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Leak Protection Pahokee
Call Us: 727-228-3350


20 Years of Warning: The Lake Okeechobee Dike
Leak-prone barrier could turn into a nightmare situation for the Glades
Despite the Army Corps of Engineers’ dismissal of consultants’ warnings, their own files contain two decades’ worth of cautions about the Herbert Hoover Dike.
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/content/storm/reports/2006/lakeo_dike.html

Photo: Dike eroded by wave action…within hours of being breached later admitted by the U.S. Corps of Engineers although subsuquently strongly denied.
http://img.coxnewsweb.com/C/02/84/24/image_4624842.jpg

By Robert P. King
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 16, 2006

Two months ago, the Army Corps of Engineers reacted with anger when state consultants called the Herbert Hoover Dike “a grave and imminent danger” to human life.

The consultants likened the leak-prone dike around Lake Okeechobee to the levees that failed in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, saying only heroic repairs had staved off similar disasters in the Glades. The corps’ leader in Florida, Col. Robert Carpenter, denounced those words as “sensationalism,” “cavalier,” even “downright irresponsible.”

But the corps’ own files are filled with more than 20 years of reports outlining the dike’s dangers — at times in words nearly as dire as the state’s.

The documents warned of “a very serious risk of catastrophic failure,” declared much of the dike “hazardous” at high lake levels and spoke of “the real potential for human suffering and loss of life” if the dike collapsed.

For cities along the lake, the corps wrote, “flooding of these communities would be severe and warning times would be limited.” Emergency repairs in 1995 “may have prevented a breach,” the corps’ own outside experts reported three years later.

Corps leaders see no conflict between their past warnings and their recent assurances that they have the dike under control. They say they’re intimately aware of its dangers but also confident they can handle them.

Still, hundreds of pages of federal and state reports dating to the mid-1980s offer an unsettling picture of the corps’ issuing ever-stronger warnings of potential disaster, while the solutions remain decades in the future. As in New Orleans, the studies of the dike’s dangers came much faster than the money to fix them:

(Continued)

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/storm/content/local_news/epaper/2006/07/16/m1a_DIKE_0716.html

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USACE: Lake Okeechobee and the Herbert Hoover Dike

Okeechobee Dike Report

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Nat – Nathaniel Prior Reed (1934 – ), The Backbone of Florida Environmentalism

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This clip is from:
“The Last Egret: The Everglades is Much More Than a Swamp” (2010, 31 minutes) by The Education Network of the School District of Palm Beach County, Florida – http://www.palmbeachschools.org/ten/Productions/TEN_Features/

October 29, 2010 – Palm Beach Schools Students To Receive 14,000 Books For “Read Together” Program From The Historical Society Of Palm Beach County And Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation
http://news.palmbeach.k12.fl.us/pao/2010/10/29/palm-beach-schools-students-to-receive-14000-books-for-%22read-together%22-program-from-the-historical-society-of-palm-beach-county-and-wachovia-wells-fargo-foundation/
(Excerpt)
The Department of Elementary Curriculum has written more than 20 lessons to support teachers in providing instruction as their students read The Last Egret. The lessons are specifically tied to benchmarks in literacy, social studies, science, math and art contained in the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. All 109 public elementary schools as well as the county’s charter and alternative elementary schools will receive copies of the book.

“The reading of this book will enhance the students’ understanding of South Florida in the late 1800s,” said Liz Perlman, Elementary Curriculum Development & School Improvement director. “In addition to the curricular benefits of literacy and historical instruction that come from reading The Last Egret, students will gain an understanding of conservation and the protection of our wildlife and natural resources,” she added.

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