News Cast for July 6th:
Elsa impacting the state
The current track of Tropical Storm Elsa has it traveling off the west coast of Florida and making landfall sometime Wednesday near the Big Bend area. Governor Ron DeSantis predicted most of the impacts will be felt in North Florida. He said it was a large storm with rain expected to impact most of the state.
It could also spawn tornadoes. DeSantis urged Floridians to check their hurricane supply kit and stock up for the season.
Tropical Storm warnings were up for much of the west coast.
Interim Okeechobee City administrator Gary Ritter said the storm is a good test run for Okeechobee. During his first week the city was hit by a large rain event with several inches in 90 minutes.
Mast chided for lake position
The Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule has brought out numerous opinions on the best levels for the lake. Congressman Brian Mast wants lower levels in the lake and no releases to the St. Lucie River. He compares agriculture and the sugar industry to bullies.
Hendry County Commissioner Ramon Iglesias said he and many others rely on the Lake for their livelihood. He noted when the lake levels are held too low that can impact navigation and fishing.
Janet Taylor of Glades Lives Matter said a reduction in lake levels could mean annual water shortages in the Glades. She said lower lake levels would hurt jobs and even take lives.
Fishing supporters urged higher levels in the lake so the local economy would not be hurt by a reduction in fishermen.
Woman charged with leaving scene of crash
An Okeechobee man was seriously injured after jumping on the hood of a vehicle and falling off. The driver of the vehicle, Stephanie Hughes, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injury. The incident was reported in the VFW parking lot in Treasure Island.
The victim was taken by Okeechobee County Fire Rescue to Raulerson Hospital for treatment of his injuries.