Update from BC Hydro Operations: Spill Release down the Puntledge River

February 3, 2016

From BC Hydro:

"The Comox Lake Reservoir is currently at 133.8 metres. A moderate precipitation event with up to 100 mm of rain for tomorrow evening into Friday will increase inflows into Comox Lake Reservoir. To continue to manage the inflows and reservoir levels, BC Hydro will be extending the spill release and continue with moderate discharge from the Comox Dam through Monday, February 8th.

The public is advised to stay away from the Puntledge River through Monday, February 8th while the high flows are in place. Warning signage remains posted along the river."

Previously:

January 29, 2016

"BC Hydro continues to manage the high inflows into the Comox Lake Reservoir following the recent, intense storm activity. Spills up to 220 m3/s will continue down the Puntledge over the weekend. The Comox Lake Reservoir is currently at 135.2 metres and slowly drafting.

To manage the reservoir to a desirable level we will be extending our spill release through Wednesday. Discharge will decrease temporarily on Monday, February 1st to accommodate fish trap installation by DFO, and once this is completed a moderate spill will resume through Wednesday, February 3rd.  

Please stay away from the Puntledge through Wednesday due to dangerous river flows. Warning signage remains posted along the river."

Previously:

January 28, 2016

"Intense storm activity within a 30 hr period, starting midnight on Tues to this morning, combined with mid elevation snow melting has produced much higher than forecasted inflows.  The Comox basin received up to 150 mm of rain, which combined with warmer temperature and higher freezing levels generated very high inflows into Comox Lake and in the rivers downstream of the Comox Dam.  Peak hourly inflows into Comox Lake reservoir reached 1050m3/s this morning, the equivalence of an Olympic-sized swimming pool entering the reservoir in under 3 seconds. Yesterday’s average inflow was 240 m3/s. Average inflow at this time of year is about 35 m3/s.

BC Hydro is forecasting daily water inflows into the reservoir to be around 360 m3/s today, and then each day thereafter 200 m3/s, 120 m3/S and 90 m3/s. The Comox Lake Reservoir has risen quickly and is currently at 135.1 metres. We prefer the reservoir to be near or below 134 metres for this time of year so we have storage room and flexibility to absorb water inflows for flood risk management considerations.

To manage the reservoir, we will continue to spill large volumes of water, up to the full spillway capacity of 215 m3/s through the weekend.   We will continue to monitor downstream flows and adjust discharge as needed depending on inflows, lake levels, storm surge and for managing the downstream high tides. During this morning’s high river flow at low tide BC Hydro reduced the discharge from Comox Dam from 174 m3/s to 50 m3/s to help manage the high river levels at Courtenay.

Please stay away from the Puntledge through the weekend due to dangerous river flows. Warning signage is posted along the river."