Medium risk for downstream flooding Wednesday

BC Hydro advises the public to stay away from the Puntledge River through Friday due to high river flows.

  • Jan. 3, 2012 7:00 a.m.

BC Hydro advises the public to stay away from the Puntledge River through Friday due to high river flows, which will fluctuate as water releases go up and down in co-ordination with ocean tides.

BC Hydro is in a solid position to provide downstream flood risk management. However, in the face of an impending storm, there is a medium risk for downstream flooding Wednesday, which will depend on Browns and Tsolum river peak flows and high ocean tides.

The risk for potential isolated flooding will be on Wednesday. To prepare, BC Hydro has lowered the Comox Lake Reservoir by about a half-metre over the last three days. The reservoir has plenty of room to absorb this two-day storm, thus allowing BC Hydro to cut back discharges from the dam before the high tides hit. Rain amounts may exceed 100 millimetres over the two days while the freezing level is expected to rise to about 2,000 metres. The reservoir is lower than normal for this time of year.

BC Hydro has communicated with the City of Courtenay since Friday about the potential risk for flooding on Wednesday. Questions about flood risks can be directed to Tillie Manthey at 250-334-4441.