COMOX LAKE, B.C- Low level flooding could be in the forecast for the Comox Valley.

That’s according to BC Hydro, who have moved to open up the spillage from Comox Lake into the Puntledge River to its maximum level due to the forecasted inflow of water to the reservoir.

According to the agency’s latest bulletin, they expect the inflow to rise due to the rain and snow from forecasted storms, as well as some snowmelt.

They’ll be opening the spillway gates to their maximum during low tides, and are asking the public to stay away from the Puntledge River into next week as the flow rates will go up and down several times a day depending on the tides.

The first maximum opening took place last night, during which the flow went to 173 cubic metres per second before being reduced to 43 cubic metres per second for the morning tide.

During high tide, the water will be held for four hours, and once released it could go as high as 180 cubic metres per second.

According to Stephen Watson, spokesperson for BC Hydro, the maximum discharge could last through to next week, depending on the storms. He indicated that Hydro is keeping in regular communication with local leaders and emergency services.

He also stated that concerns over isolated flooding depended on a variety of factors, including high tides, storm surge, and what’s happening with the Browns and Tsolum Rivers.

“At this stage, all those things need to align in a worst-case scenario,” said Watson.

“I think it’s fine now, but at the end of next week, the king tides start, so hopefully the storms subside by next week and we get some good weather during the king tides, because that’s when the sensitivities and concerns about isolated flooding can rear it’s head.”

Lewis Park won’t be turning into Lewis Lake anytime soon, according to Watson, but it will all depend on the inflows to Comox Lake and what the storms are doing.

“We’ll keep a close eye,” said Watson.