High Lake Levels
We are experiencing higher than normal water levels in our lakes – particularly the Northern and Southern Winter Haven Chain. In the last 10 days, scattered thunderstorms dropped a whopping 9.25 inches of rain in downtown Winter Haven -almost the same amount received during Hurricane Irma in 2017!
As of today, the water elevation in the South Chain is 132.65 ft – 1.8” lower than the maximum level seen in September 2004 (132.8 ft) and 23.4” higher than the long-term average lake level (130.7 ft).
Water from the Southern Chain of Lakes discharges into the Wahneta Farms drainage canal (and eventually Peace Creek/River) from an outfall located on the south side of Lake Lulu managed by the Lakes Region Lakes Management District. The elevation of the outfall at Lake Lulu is 132.0 ft, so we are seeing a lot of water being discharged from the Southern Chain at this time. Water from the Northern Chain of Lakes discharges into the Peace Creek Canal at an outfall located on the south side of Lake Hamilton managed by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Many structures within the Northern Chain are currently open, and will remain so, until the water levels return to normal.
Believe it or not, high water during this time of year is great for future water levels in the Chain. We are heading into the dry season (mid October – end of May) and the current high water will help ensure we maintain desirable water levels throughout the next several months.