COURTENAY, B.C- Residents of the Comox Valley should keep staying away from the Puntledge River this week.

According to the latest notice from BC Hydro, the extra water release from the Comox Dam was ended on December 27th, after the conclusion of storms hitting the region.

The reservoir level in Comox Lake reached a “good position”, according to the notice, and continues to be well positioned for future flood risk management. Extra water was released down the Puntledge for 17 days, with the spillway gates “wide open” during low tides.

The reservoir is currently at 133.6 metres, and rising slowly. There is a total of 1.7 metres of storage room before water begins to free-spill into the river.

“We need to do some improvements to our fish screen works located at the Puntledge River diversion dam, which is located about 3.7 km below the Comox dam,” read the notice.

“This work is needed for increased efficiency in screening fish that may enter the penstock, which delivers water to the powerhouse, back into the river. The maintenance work will take place from January 2nd to 5th.”

A moderate to heavy storm could hit the area on Wednesday and Thursday, and the current water release is 30 cubic metres per second. The increase will go up to 50 cubic metres per second on Tuesday, while the generating station will be off-line for three days due to the maintenance work.

“With generating station offline, that means a higher water flow down the Nymph Falls and Stotan Falls section of the river,” read the notice.

“The flow rate in other parts of the Puntledge River will also be up.”

Residents should be cautious around the river throughout the week.