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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – With record-rainfall soaking many parts of Florida over the last few months, the water levels in Lake Okeechobee have risen to nearly 16-feet.

The Army Corps of Engineers, because of the rising water levels in the usually shallow lake, have decided to fully open locks around the lake to release the water as well as protect the aging Herbert Hoover Dike.

Officials plan to release an update Wednesday afternoon on the water releases.

Weekly inspections of the earthen dike began last month when the water levels hit 15.5 feet. Daily inspections will begin if they reach 16.5 feet.

As of Wednesday, the water level in Lake Okeechobee stood at 15.99 feet.

The corps controls the dike and locks around the 730-square-mile lake. In the corps’ 2014 budget request, officials worried that water seeping through the dike could lead to a catastrophic failure and flooding.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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