The trails leading from the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds to the Tsolum River were completely flooded due to the heavy rains received last week. This photo was taken Sunday (Jan. 21) afternoon, approximately 20 feet from the beginning of the trail. The Tsolum River is another 200 metres away. Photo by Terry Farrell

BC Hydro advising public to stay away from the Puntledge River

Current water release from the Comox dam is about six times the normal flow rate.

Due to the very high precipitation over the weekend and significant water inflows into Comox Lake reservoir, BC Hydro is extending its public safety notice to stay away from the Puntledge River through to Tuesday, Jan. 30.

“One of the measurement gauges off the Cruikshank River measured an incredible 148 mm of rain over a 24-hour period,” said BC Hydro stakeholder engagement advisor, Stephen Watson, in a media release. “Thankfully the precipitation fell as snow in mid-elevations and above. The huge rainfall in the lower elevation provided for a very high Tsolum River flow peak of 278.3 m3/s on Sunday, which was near a record high.”

The current water release from the Comox dam is about 200 m3/s, or about six times the normal flow rate. BC Hydro will reduce flows, as needed, for the daily morning high tides for flood risk management.

The Comox Lake reservoir is currently at 134.75 metres and slowly dropping.

It hit as high as 134.93 metres.

Water free-spills over the dam at 135.5 metres.

“We will release extra water flows, up to about 200 m3/s, through to Tuesday next week,” added Watson. “There are some modest storms in the forecast and we will adjust operations as needed.”

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