Although it’s put a damper on many outdoor activities, the current week-long stretch of wet weather is “great news” for BC Hydro.
With the showers across the Comox Valley, Stephen Watson, stakeholder engagement and communications representative for BC Hydro, said the rain is a welcome relief.
“We’re starting to recover nicely. The rain fall over the weekend was very significant and has resulted in the largest water inflows BC Hydro has seen into the Comox Lake Reservoir in about a year. It rose about one metre in elevation over those two days, in addition to the water level rise from last week,” he explained.
The reservoir has now gone past the middle elevation range and is now entering the top half, sitting at about 134 metres as of Monday, Watson added.
“Water free-spills over the dam at 135.33 metres. Entering the fall season we like the reservoir below 134 metres if possible.”
At full capacity, the Puntledge Generating Station is capable of producing 24 megawatts, which can serve about 12,000 homes, but it hasn’t been in operation since June due to low water levels. Watson added power has been supplied through undersea cables from the Lower Mainland and Peace River areas.
BC Hydro will be generating at full capacity this week.
“It’s been a very trying year to get through,” he noted and added the current rains have made a big difference not only in power generation but for fish habitat as well. “It feels like typical fall weather, but we really need it.”
Watson said BC Hydro is looking at flood risk management operations. He added they will be keeping an eye on the accumulation of snow on the mountain, and any possibility of a pineapple express, particularly through November to January.
Watson noted water will most likely be spilled throughout the week, with water discharges highest at night. BC Hydro advises the public to be cautious around the Puntledge River.
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With almost an identical outlook for the next few days, Environment Canada is forecasting rain Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with a high of 13 C and lows between 10 C and 8 C.
The average maximum temperature for this time of the year is 12.6 C.