BC Hydro is closely monitoring some subtropical weather systems that look to hit the Comox Valley beginning Thursday night, and carry on through Sunday morning. In addition, the Comox Lake Reservoir has increased this past week with the moderate storm activity.
Beginning as early as Thursday evening, BC Hydro will increase the water discharge from the Comox Dam to the 100 m3/s to 125 m3/s range. The current rate of discharge is about 32 m3/s. The high river flow rate may be in place through Wednesday. BC Hydro will adjust river flow discharges based on actual inflow conditions and ocean tides. Forecasts can change.
For public safety, BC Hydro advises the public to stay away from the Puntledge River beginning Friday through Wednesday next week.
As for precipitation over the three days starting Thursday evening? We put that question to BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson.
Watson says the Storm ocean surge may also be a consideration as the winds are forecast to come out of the southeast and be up to 60 km/h on Friday.
Watson stresses that BC Hydro will reduce the discharge from the Comox Dam to as low as possible during the high tides set to hit Friday and Saturday.
The Comox Lake Reservoir is currently at 134.15 metres and has leveled off. There is over 1.2 metres of available reservoir storage to absorb this storm system.
While these storms look to be significantly weaker than the storms in early December, there will be more snowmelt in this case and that element of water inflow amounts into the river systems are more uncertain.
Because of the timing of these highest ocean tides of the year, BC Hydro is a bit concerned about the Friday morning and Saturday morning tides. Should the natural flowing Browns and Tsolum rivers peak at the wrong time, there may be a risk for some isolated downstream flooding. Overall though, Watson says we will probably make it through this three day storm system without any significant flooding.