Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017

The next wave

Lake Okeechobee faces slow-moving crisis after Irma

The sun sets behind the lock and dam on Lake Okeechobee and St. Lucie Canal.


WLRN Miami & News Service of Florida

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. As Irma’s rainfall reaches the lake, the increasing water level could cause problems with the aging Herbert Hoover Dike, parts of which were built in the late 1940s. The Army Corps of Engineers has already started backpumping lake water into the St. Lucie River.


EPA OKs expedited funding for Harvey projects

Texas Tribune

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a request from Texas officials to expedite funding to help local governments restore water and wastewater systems damaged by Hurricane Harvey. According to the Commission on Environmental Quality, at least five public drinking systems were destroyed by flooding, 14 systems remain inoperable, and 31 wastewater facilities are inoperable.


Harvey and Irma's lingering health threats

Vox, AP & TCPalm

In the week following Hurricane Irma, parts of Florida have been awash in millions of gallons of sewage. Meanwhile, in Texas, oil refineries and chemical plants have dumped pollutants into the air and water in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. In both states, doctors are on the lookout for an uptick in respiratory problems, skin infections, and mosquito-borne diseases brought on by the water and mold the storms left behind.