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Okeechobee Crossing – post Irma

Our thanks to AGLCA member, Gary Reed, for sharing his Forum report, which, by in large, is good news for cruisers needing to make the coast to coast run.

We came across (west to east) this past Thursday and Friday (September 14th and 15th). No major issues at all. All locks operational as well as bridges. Some were still on generator with one only able to raise one span at a time. All operating on normal schedule. (Note, we drove from St. Lucie to Cape Coral on Wednesday, 13th, the amount of water in the area was astonishing as well as the significant downed power lines.)

Debris in the water was mostly ‘soft’ (leaves, vegetation, etc.) … some rather large mats but easily avoidable. We only had to run through one large mat shore to shore. Surprisingly, we saw virtually no deadheads, remnants of docks or piers, etc. A couple of the locks had some debris either on the upper gate on the western side or in the lock itself. We limited thrusters in these locks for obvious reasons and sprung off the stern line.

The runoff into the waterway on both sides of Lake O was significant at some of the inlet spillways (not lock spillways but drainage into the waterway). Several moved the boat around quite significantly and unexpectedly until we began looking for them.

Gary Reed

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