The Comox Lake reservoir is currently at 134 metres and slowly rising. File Photo

High water spill from Comox dam Wednesday evening

With the rising reservoir level, BC Hydro plans to increase the water release from Comox dam to upwards of 100 m3/s beginning Wednesday evening.

They are asking the public to stay away from the Puntledge River from Wednesday evening through to Monday.

Since Tuesday, about 65 mm of precipitation has fallen in the upper watershed. Temperatures have dropped this morning so more mid-elevation snow, though the temperatures are expected to increase today before dropping again over the next few days.

The Comox Lake reservoir is currently at 134 metres and slowly rising. BC Hydro prefers the level to be around 134 metres, particularly below 134.4 metres, at this time of year for flexibility in our flood risk management operations.

Water begins to free-spill over the dam at 135.33 metres. The forecasted daily water inflows into the reservoir for today and tomorrow are over 100 m3/s given the storm activity. BC Hydro needs to increase the water release from the dam this evening to control the reservoir level.

The ocean tides are modestly high at around five metres and there will be some ocean storm surge up the estuary from the southeast winds. The Browns and Tsolumn rivers should not react too much from this storm, though if they do, BC Hydro will significantly reduce the water release from the Comox dam during the morning daily high tides.

Water releases from the dam are expected to be as high as 100 m3/s, or about three times the typical water flow for this time of year, on Thursday before potentially moving downward into the weekend.

BC Hydro sees very low downstream flood risk at this time.

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