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BC Hydro warns of high river flows to return on Monday

BC Hydro has slowed down the raging Puntledge River for most of the long weekend, but they are asking you not to enter the water after Sunday.

Heavy snow melt means that while the reservoir is below its operating level, they will need to ramp up the water flow after a few days of allowing a more leisurely flow.

Stakeholder engagement manager Stephen Watson says because of the warm spring, water inflows into Comox Lake have been around 166 per cent of normal. Rainfall meanwhile has been around 57 per cent normal for May.

“The Comox Lake Reservoir generally operates between 131 metres above sea-level to about 135.3 metres,” said Watson. “The level is currently at 134 metres and rising and may be around 135 metres by Sunday night.”

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The river will flow at around 35 m3/s until Sunday night. Watson says come Monday, it will have nearly tripled to around 90 m3/s or 110 m3/s.

While it may not be safe for swimmers and tubers, BC Hydro says the high flow rate means river kayakers will be able to enjoy the river features once again.

They ask you to stay away from the river from Monday until Friday next week, and they will reassess the water inflows and provide an update.

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