BC Hydro - Puntledge River System Update

December 8, 2015

From BC Hydro:

Things are looking good.

About 365 m3/s is currently entering the Comox Lake reservoir. BC Hydro reduced our discharge downstream of the Comox dam to 32 m3/s for the high tide. We are now going back up to a spill rate of about 180 m3/s.

Today’s storm dropped 46 mm of precipitation in the upper watershed, which was slightly lower than the forecasted, and most importantly, the warmer temperatures or higher freezing levels did not materialize. That significantly lowered the potential stream and river flows that feed into the Puntledge River.

The storm has passed by and the next set of smaller storms are more or less unsettled weather with lower freezing levels. There is now no isolated downstream flood risks for the rest of this week.

We’ve had 420 mm of precipitation over 7.3 days (to 8 am today) fall in the upper watershed. As a comparison to December 2014, we had 325 mm over four days. While more precipitation per day on average in 2014, one of the main differences was it all fell as rain. This year, we had some lower freezing levels and snow in upper elevations.

We will continue to spill high water flows downstream of the dam through this weekend to lower the reservoir for future storms. The reservoir, currently at 134.75 metres, will rise further today before levelling off and then start declining tomorrow. Water run-off into the reservoir will ease off.

Please be safe and stay away from the dangerous river flows through the weekend. We may also back off discharges from the dam for the high oceans tides so flows may fluctuate.

This is BC Hydro’s final update for these storms.