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Lake Okeechobee at record low

June 01, 2007|From the Associated Press

MIAMI — The water level in the lake that serves as the main backup water supply for 5 million South Florida residents dropped to a record low Thursday.

Lake Okeechobee was at 8.94 feet, below the mark of 8.97 feet set during a 2001 drought, the South Florida Water Management District reported. The average level should be about 13 feet this time of year.

"There is no joy over this record-breaking event," said Carol Ann Wehle, the district's executive director.

Lake Okeechobee, which is the second-largest freshwater lake in the contiguous United States, is also the liquid heart of the Everglades. South Florida depends on the 730-square-mile lake during dry periods, when it can be used as a reservoir.

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