Puntledge River rising dramatically due to storms

BC Hydro advises the public to stay away from the Puntledge River from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday through to next weekend.

BC Hydro advises the public to stay away from the Puntledge River from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday through to next weekend, and during the day from Sunday through Monday.

BC Hydro will more than double the water release downstream by early Sunday morning through to Tuesday morning to control the Comox Lake Reservoir level. Water flow from the spillway gates at the dam will go from about 40 m3/s to about 110 m3/s.

At night starting Friday through to the end of next week, BC Hydro may release more than 110 m3/s to control the reservoir level.

River flows are already high with the current wet weather and BC Hydro will ideally release water when natural river system flows from the Browns and Tsolum subside.

The reservoir was at 133.45 metres and rising Thursday morning. Considering the forecast and Hydro operations, the reservoir may be around 133.5 metres by Monday.

The reservoir may hit a high of 134.0 metres by Sunday morning once these latest storms finish hitting the watershed. This is based on current forecasts that are subject to change.

BC Hydro’s goal is to have 1.5 to two metres of available reservoir water storage room to attenuate or absorb storms. The reservoir is considered full at 135.3 metres.

There is no risk of downstream flooding through early next week.

BC Hydro is monitoring storms that may continue to hit the watershed well into next week. BC Hydro may adjust operations on Monday based on updated weather forecasts and water inflows. Any significant BC Hydro operational changes will be communicated to the community.

— BC Hydro

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