BC Hydro increasing Puntledge flow tonight
File photo of the Puntledge River. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio
COURTENAY, B.C- Residents of the Comox Valley should stay away from the Puntledge River this week.
According to a notice from BC Hydro, forecasted storm activity over Wednesday and Thursday will be increasing water inflows into the Comox Lake reservoir. Due to the rise, the agency plans to increase the water release from the Comox Lake dam to upwards of 100 cubic metres per second.
“We ask the public to stay away from the Puntledge River from Wednesday evening through to Monday,” read the notice.
“Since yesterday, about 65 mm of precipitation has fallen in the upper watershed. Temperatures have dropped this morning so more mid-elevation snow, though the temperatures are expected to increase today before dropping again over the next few days.”
The reservoir is currently sitting at 134 metres. The agency stated that water begins to free-spill over the dam at 135.33 metres, with the forecasted daily water inflow for Wednesday and Thursday at 100 cubic metres per second, due to the storm activity.
“We need to increase the water release from the dam this evening to control the reservoir level,” read the notice.
“The ocean tides are modestly high at around 5 metres and there will be some ocean storm surge up the estuary from the southeast winds. The Brown and Tsolum rivers should not react too much from this storm, though if they do, we will significantly reduce the water release from the Comox dam during the morning daily high tides.”
On Thursday, water releases are expected to be as high as 100 cubic metres per second, close to three times the usual flow rate at this time of year. The downstream flood risk is expected to be very low.