Wednesday June 22, 2022

HENDRY COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD MEETS TO SOLVE COMPLAINTS

Hendry County commissioners met with the county parks and recreation board and Labelle city officials to try and solve some resident complaints with parks. 

Noberto Lyone told the group that residents use drugs and alcohol on county property like the Singleton building and nothing happens.

Commission Chairman Emma Byrd says the city of Labelle and county recreation board need to work better together. 

The county is looking at ways to get more revenue to improve parks and ballfields and one way is to charge user fees. 

LAKE OKEECHOBEE RELEASES PLANNED FOR SEDIMENT STUDY ON JUNE 22

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District plans to execute a minor deviation today, June 22 that will release water from the lake as part of an ongoing sediment study by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The releases will affect only the Julian Keen, Jr. Lock and Dam (S-77) as water is released to support the study.

The initial releases are planned for the morning of June 22 at S-77 and are expected to last for a maximum of four hours of flows not to exceed 2,000 cubic feet per second, followed by additional flows in the afternoon, not to exceed 2,600 cfs for a maximum of four hours.

The purpose of study is to better understand nutrient and sediment transport to the estuaries under different flow conditions. USACE executed similar deviations in 2021 to support the same study.

During the collection period, the S-77 is required to be open to take sediment measurements. This deviation allows the USACE to open S-77 for a relatively short period of time, even though flows at S-79 will be above the flow target of 1,000 cubic feet per second.

The estimated total volume for the releases is 1,500 acre-feet, which is the equivalent of less than a tenth of an inch on the lake

No downstream impacts are expected in the Caloosahatchee River Estuary due to the short duration of the study.

This important research will help understand the relationship between suspended sediment concentrations, how they originate, how they carry nutrients, and how that might impact algal bloom development and growth.

USACE will monitor conditions and work with USGS and SFWMD to adjust flows for these studies as necessary if conditions on the lake or in the estuaries change.

NATIONAL LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS

As summer begins and more people spend time outdoors, Floridians know that it’s likely to storm each afternoon from June to July. While lightning is fascinating to watch, it is also extremely dangerous.

This week is National Lightning Safety Awareness week and is designed to remind all of us what to do when thunder roars. According to the National Weather Service, each year there are about 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes and about 300 people are struck by lightning. Of those people, about 30 are killed while others suffer lifelong disabilities.

Storms that produce lightning are most common in the afternoon, but lightning can happen at any time of the day, so it’s important to stay weather aware if storms are in the forecast. Plan ahead and if thunderstorms are in the forecast, consider other options for outdoor activities if you have to cancel or postpone to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Know where to seek safe harbor if you are planning a boating or fishing trip.

Don’t be fooled by blue skies. Lightning often strikes outside the area of heavy rain and may strike as far as 10 miles from  any rainfall which is why if you can hear thunder, you are in danger. Avoid open areas, isolated trees, towers, or utility poles, as lightning tends to strike taller objects. Have a lightning safety plan. Know where you’ll go for safety and ensure you have enough time to get there. A building with plumbing and electricity or a hard-topped metal vehicle are good options. Once you are in a safe place, stay inside for at least 30 minutes.

HELP FOR FOOD INSECURITY IN BELLE GLADE

The Glades Initiative’s Food Pantry is available to anyone in need. Residents may come in once per week at any time during hours listed below. In a “Pantry of Choice”, you choose the foods that you want and need (within guidelines).

Required to participate:

• Valid ID or your Glades Initiative Food Pantry ID

• ONE time per week

WHEN: Tuesdays and Wednesdays

  • 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Tuesday)
  • 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Wednesday)

WHERE: The Glades Initiative, 149 SE Avenue D, Belle Glade, FL 33430

CONTACT: 561-996-3310