Update: The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive remains closed

In some areas of the Lake Apopka North Shore, water levels dropped by about three inches over two weeks. Many areas remain underwater.

Repairs are underway at the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Lake Apopka North Shore, which experienced damage due to Hurricane Irma. As water levels subside and assessments are completed, the district will provide a weekly update on the status of repairs and recreation at the Lake Apopka North Shore.

  • To date, about 640 tons, or 32 truckloads, of fill material has been delivered to repair a 357-foot breach in a lake-side levee. This temporary repair, which is about 50 percent complete, allows the district to manage water levels on the rest of the property.
  • Due to current rainfall and expected future rainfall related to Tropical Storm Nate, additional repairs may be required to help stabilize the roads/levees so that they can support heavy equipment.
  • The installation of a floating barrier to minimize additional damage from wave action was completed. This will remain in place until the slopes can be reinforced with rip-rap or concrete rubble.
  • The district continues to monitor water levels on the Ocklawaha Chain of Lakes. Once lakes Apopka, Dora and Beauclair all return to normal levels, the district will begin slowly pumping water from the Lake Apopka North Shore. Depending on lake levels and rainfall due to Tropical Storm Nate, this could begin as early as next week. Any pumping will occur slowly to avoid additional damage to already saturated roads and levees.
  • In some parts of the Lake Apopka North Shore, where gauges could be accessed, water levels dropped by about three inches over two weeks. Many areas remain underwater.
  • District staff have confirmed that all observation towers remain standing and are in good condition.
  • Understanding that the area is a popular outdoor recreation destination, the Red Trail, off County Road 448A, and the McDonald Canal Boat Ramp, are open.
  • To ensure public safety, and minimize potential damage to saturated roads, no other openings are planned at this point due to flooding and the continued presence of heavy equipment. The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive and nonmotorized Lake Apopka Loop Trail remain closed. As soon as the district determines that the public can safely access an area, it will open.

For continuing updates on district operations and recreational announcements, visit the district’s website, www.sjrwmd.com. More information about lake levels is available at www.sjrwmd.com/data/hydrologic/#controlled.

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