Comox Lake close to spilling over dam, more extra water will be released down Puntledge River

A moderate storm is expected to hit the North Island region on Saturday.

A moderate storm is expected to hit the North Island region on Saturday.

However, there is a chance the system could shift south and stall over central Vancouver Island, Stephen Watson of BC Hydro said Thursday in a news release. There is also potential storm activity around the middle of next week.

The Comox Lake Reservoir was at 134.4 metres Thursday morning, and just beginning to hold at that level.

“With the forecast, and also receiving more water runoff from the weekend storm than forecast over the past few days, we are uncomfortable in having less room to absorb future storms for downstream flood risk management,” he explained.

“BC Hydro now has less than a metre of reservoir water storage room left before it spills over the dam (135.3 metres). Normally as we enter the fall and winter season BC Hydro prefers the reservoir near the 133.5 metre level. Weather conditions can change quickly.”

Through Thursday, BC Hydro has in place the chinook salmon migration and spawning flow.

The chum salmon fishery is open and weekend river access for fishers is of interest. Kayakers have good river flow conditions at about 110 cubic metres per second (m3/s).

Lastly, when the reservoir moves higher, there are considerations for wave action erosion around the shoreline. With all these water use interests it is a challenging water management balancing act for BC Hydro, though flood risk management and public safety are BC Hydro’s highest priorities.

Beginning Thursday at 8 p.m., BC Hydro will once again increase the river flow by about fourfold to 110 m3/s and hold at that level throughout Friday. BC Hydro will lower the discharge to about 40 m3/s for Saturday morning and keep it at those levels during the day.

Then on Saturday night and Sunday night, BC Hydro will once again increase the river flow to up to 110 m3/s. The timing of those releases will be from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. The river flows Monday onward should be around 40 m3/s or normal flow levels.

With this modified operation BC Hydro forecasts the reservoir level likely being below 134 metres by Monday.

BC Hydro will review operations and the weather conditions daily for potential operational adjustments as needed.

The public is advised to stay away from the Puntledge River on Friday due to the high and dangerous water flow conditions.

Current conditions pose no risk of flooding downriver, Watson added.

— BC Hydro

 

Just Posted

Two Courtenay Habitat for Humanity families receive keys to new homes

Lake Trail Road project officially has residents

Preparations ongoing for Courtenay’s annual Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner

The doors of the Florence Filberg Centre, downtown Courtenay, will open again… Continue reading

Valley woman found guilty on three charges following 2016 collision in Courtenay

The woman involved in a trial for a multi-vehicle collision in which… Continue reading

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

Swiss juniors train in Comox Valley

The Swiss national junior hockey team is training at the Comox Valley… Continue reading

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Most Read