Water continues to be flushed from Lake Okeechobee after toxic algae blooms

MIAMI (AP) — Water releases from Lake Okeechobee toward both Florida coasts will resume Friday amid political backlash and a toxic algae bloom.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flushes water from the lake to reduce pressure on its aging dike. In a statement Thursday, Col. Jason Kirk said Okeechobee’s rising water levels pose a major flood risk to nearby communities.

Coastal communities say the discharges spread toxic algae, threatening tourism and health.

Senate and gubernatorial candidates in both parties have made the discharges a campaign issue in a crucial election year.

The Trump administration has approved a new Everglades reservoir to store more water south from the lake, but Congress must approve those plans.

Gov. Rick Scott issued an emergency order Monday giving state agencies more resources to respond to the algae.

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