Stay out of Puntledge River this weekend unless you’re whitewater paddling

BC Hydro will increase the discharge from Comox Dam by more than twofold Friday night through early Monday morning.

BC Hydro will increase the discharge from Comox Dam by more than twofold Friday night through early Monday morning to control the Comox Lake Reservoir level.

BC Hydro advises the public to stay away from the Puntledge River from Saturday through Sunday.

The storms over the past weekend through Monday increased the reservoir level by almost one metre, Hydro said Thursday morning in a news release. In response, on Monday evening, BC Hydro increased the water discharge from the dam near the threshold where public river safety notification is required.

The standard water discharge below the dam for this time of year is around 32 cubic metres per second (m3/s) to allow full power generation and required fish flows, but was increased to over 40 m3/s on Monday and this weekend will be around 105 m3/s.

BC Hydro will then bring down the Puntledge River flow to the 45 m3/s level or lower after the weekend.

The weekend water release is intended for flood risk management but will also provide ideal conditions for the Vancouver Island Whitewater Paddling Society. If you are not a member of this society, you should not enter the river.

The reservoir has been slowly rising this week and was at 133.75 metres Thursday morning, and will continue to rise with Thursday’s storm.

However, with the water release this weekend the level may move down near the 133.5 metre level by early Monday morning. The reservoir is considered full and free-spills over the dam at 135.3 metres.

This is the first significant water release from Comox Dam for flood risk management this fall and winter storm season. There is no risk of downstream flooding.

BC Hydro tries to maintain water storage room within the reservoir to absorb water inflows from storm events, and releases water downstream in consideration of downstream river flows and ocean tides. The storms this week have been moderate in strength though combined, this past Friday evening through early Monday, 180 millimetres of rain fell in the upper Puntledge watershed.

BC Hydro can absorb high inflows as downstream rivers peak and then, as they subside, BC Hydro can release water to limit potential downstream flooding. Although BC Hydro’s dam and operations are unable to eliminate the possibility of flooding, it can reduce the frequency, size, and impact of such events.

— BC Hydro

Just Posted

A cuddle and a coffee: Six Island towns named among Canada’s most cozy

Sidney, Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet crack Expedia’s top 40

Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles for youngsters, gifts for teens

Santa’s Workshop, at 464 Puntledge Road (formerly the Red Cross building), is… Continue reading

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Liquor store robbery suspect arrested

The Comox Valley RCMP have identified the suspect in relation to the… Continue reading

Everybody Deserves A Smile back for its 15th year

Local students leading the charge of spreading Christmas cheer to the Valley’s most vulnerable

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Electoral reform ballot returns so far show higher Courtenay-Comox engagement

Area leads province in percentage of ballots turned in

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Port Alberni convenience store robbed

Police still searching for suspect

Most Read