More than 2,500 people died when a 1928 hurricane caused the lake to sweep over an embankment and flood surrounding communities. The existing Herbert Hoover Dike was dedicated in 1964.
The lake level was lowered in 2008 after Hurricane Katrina broke through dikes in New Orleans in 2005 and caused flooding deaths. The lower lake level is blamed for water discharges in 2018 that caused toxic algae blooms that choked estuaries and closed beaches in South Florida, where the tourism industry depends on beaches.
The Lake Okeechobee dike was identified by the Army Corps of Engineers as one of the nation's riskiest dams before the $1.6 billion dike strengthening project was launched.
"We're making it stronger than it would ever have been. It's really in great shape," Trump said Friday.
DeSantis said federal, state and local officials are "really singing the same tune right now" on water issues.
Rubio said disaster relief funding that Congress approved in 2018 made money available for the dike repairs, which freed up money for other Everglades projects. Water historically flowed naturally from the lake through the Everglades before canals were used to drain the famed "River of Grass" for agriculture and development.
And Scott, who as governor requested $100 million from the Florida Legislature to speed up the project, said Trump "came through" in helping getting the dike fixed.
"It would not have happened but for what President Trump did. He took charge of this," Scott said.
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