At the end of August, BC Hydro completed an audibility test along the Puntledge River to make sure people at risk within the river could hear the new siren system. Adjustments were made and the audibility requirements were confirmed.

The new strobe lights, a first for this river system, were also tested. Now the utility plans to conduct the next test by performing a full system simulation to ensure the sirens and strobe lights work as expected during sudden river flow increase events.

Testing of the system will go from Monday (September 25th) to Wednesday (September 27th). On Monday and Tuesday, the testing will only include the strobe lights flashing at all key public warning sites.

On Wednesday, the siren system will be tested from Comox Dam down to Puntledge Park. It’s expected that the sirens will begin at the Dam at about 8:30 am, with the sirens at the Puntledge Diversion Dam/Barbers Hole, Nymph Falls and Stotan Falls occurring shortly thereafter.

The sirens at Powerhouse and Puntledge Park are expected to sound later that morning. All siren testing should be completed by noon.

The strobe lights, angled down or up the river corridor, are to initiate during the night.

BC Hydro is advising of the public warning system tests so the community is aware of what’s happening, and for people to stay away from the Puntledge River on Wednesday morning when the siren system portion of the test takes place.

Hydro says this test will verify that the system operates in the correct sequence and the sirens remain active for the correct duration. An actual river flow test, with a water flow change, may be carried out later in the year when there is more water in the system.