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Puntledge River to experience high water flows as storm system moves through area

It will be a good idea to stay well back from the Puntledge River over the next week as flows are predicted to triple and create strong currents.

BC Hydro senior stakeholder engagement advisor Stephen Watson says that after a record dry late summer, the fall has started off wet and we have seen a needed recovery in water storage.

“From Oct. 9 through Oct. 16, we’ve had about 185 mm of rainfall in the upper watershed,” said Watson.

“The latest storm, hitting the area tonight and Wednesday, are remnants of a strong typhoon and may have an atmospheric river rating of three on the five-point scale.”

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Watson adds that how the storm tracks will determine how much water inflows may enter the Comox Lake reservoir.

Temporary safety signage will be in place along the river today, and Watson asks you to stay well away from the fast-flowing water over the next week.

The reservoir is currently at 134 metres above sea level and rising, moving up 65 cm since Sunday, according to Watson. It may rise to about 134.7 metres later this week and water starts to spill over at 134.33 metres.

Watson adds they like to keep the reservoir level below 134.4 metres during storm season for flood risk management. Discharge from the dam could hit 90 m3/s, up from about 37 m3/s.

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The weather is expected to get drier later this week.

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