COURTENAY, B.C- BC Hydro wants people to stay out of the Puntledge River.

In a notice issued on May 17, the service announced that the Puntledge River generating station had gone out of service early on Wednesday morning, with a cause still under investigation. The station is expected to be out of service until June 1st.

“To maintain downstream river flows for fish habitat, and to control the upstream reservoir level and the snowmelt inflows into the reservoir, we are bypassing flows from powerhouse and releasing that extra water below the Puntledge River diversion dam,” read the notice.

“This is a public safety advisory of higher flows at Barber’s Hole, Nymph Falls and Stotan Falls sections of the river and to please stay out of that area of the river through May 27.”

The current release of water down the Stotan Falls and Nymph Falls is high, up to around 40 cubic metres per second according to the notice. On Friday evening, the flows will be increasing for the Puntledge River Paddle Festival on May 26-27.

The public are being asked by BC Hydro to stay away from the five kilometre stretch of the river from the diversion dam to the powerhouse, which includes Stotan Falls and Nymph Falls, up until this Sunday.

High flows are expected to be maintained until the powerhouse is repaired.