Clewiston could soon be the first city on Lake Okeechobee to stream live feeds of the big water once an HD camera is installed atop the dike.
In partnership with Delaware-based Earth Networks, Inc. and the Hendry County Tourism Development Council (TDC), the city of Clewiston will play host to a high-definition pan/tilt/zoom camera that will not only stream live feeds of Lake Okeechobee 24/7, but collect and disseminate local weather information.
Clewiston City Commissioners approved the deal at their regular meeting on Monday, and finalized a plan first introduced by County Emergency Management Planner, Amy Howard, and set in motion by the county and its spokeswoman Electa Waddell.
The camera will serve multiple purposes and will be the first of its kind to stream a live feed of the lake. It will be affixed to an existing pole on top of the levee near the Clewiston locks.
The TDC believes it will be a great marketing tool for the lake and area as a whole, as the feed can be viewed by anyone with access to the internet.
The local, up-to-date weather information collected from the camera system will be beneficial in cases of weather emergencies. News stations on the coast, including NBC 2 and its affiliates, have also expressed interest in showing the live feed during their weather segments, said Waddell.
As part of the agreement with Earth Networks, the city of Clewiston will provide electricity to the camera and the TDC will provide a constant internet connection. Earth Networks will provide the camera and the necessary software, as well as install the camera at the designated location.
Earth Networks, which specializes in manufacturing and installing WeatherBug Weather Stations, said once the signed copy of the agreement is received from the city, installation could begin in six to 12 weeks, said Waddell.
The TDC has expressed interest in installing a camera overlooking the Caloosahatchee River, but those plans are further down the road, said Waddell.