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President Trump Promises To Speed Up Repairs To Lake Dike 

The bulrushes rimming Lake Okeechobee. Photo by Amy Green

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump is promising to speed up repairs to the 80-year-old dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee.

The White House announced late Thursday that the president ordered officials to accelerate repairs to the aging earthen barrier overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has pushed to complete the repairs and earlier this year convinced legislators to set aside $50 million of state money for the project.

The corps is halfway through a $1.7 billion renovation program, scheduled for completion in 2025. Scott wants to see the project finished by 2022. That would require increased spending of $200 million annually, up from the $50 million to $150 million that has been budgeted annually over the last decade.

Okeechobee is the second-largest natural freshwater lake in the continental U.S.

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