Tuesday evening, the Comox dam discharge will increase from about 30 m3/s to about 55 m3/s, nearly a two-fold increase. File Photo

Tuesday evening, the Comox dam discharge will increase from about 30 m3/s to about 55 m3/s, nearly a two-fold increase. File Photo

BC Hydro increasing flow in Puntledge River

  • Dec. 11, 2018 10:30 a.m.

BC Hydro is warning the public to stay away from the Puntledge River through next week, as moderate storms in the area will cause the power authority to increase the discharge from the Comox dam.

Tuesday evening, the dam discharge will increase from about 30 m3/s to about 55 m3/s, nearly a two-fold increase.

BC Hydro is warning flows may be increased to about 90 m3/s, or about three times the current river flow if the inflows end up being higher than forecast.

The amount of precipitation and run-off will be dependent on how the freezing levels may move up and down through these storms.

According to BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson, the Comox Lake reservoir is currently at 134.15 metres.

“Generally, at this time of year with storm season, we like to keep it at or below 134 metres,” said Watson in an email. “ Water free-spills over the dam at 135.3 metres, and we lose our flood risk management operational capabilities as the reservoir level moves higher than that level.

“We are looking to have the reservoir stay below 134.4 metres throughout the forecasted storms over the next week. Our goal is to be able to have flexibility in holding back water within the reservoir during high tides if needed.”

BC Hydro is also aware the highest tides of the year are set to begin around Dec. 22 and last to the end of the month.

The peak tides are 5.4 metres on Dec 25 to 27.