Elk Falls at 20x the normal flow rate on Dec. 21. Photo: Twitter/BC Hydro

BC Hydro accommodating above average inflows into the Campbell River system

Third wettest December in 38 years with more precipitation expected this weekend

After the third wettest December in 38 years, water flows into the Campbell River system remain high.

This means BC Hydro has continued to release water down the Elk Falls Canyon at 110 cubic metres per second (m3/s) which it began Jan. 3.

There have been ongoing moderate storms, with more activity into this weekend, with some snowmelt and inflows into the system have been above normal for this time of year, BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson says in Campbell River system update. Since Jan. 3, BC Hydro have continued to release about 110 m3/s down Elk Falls Canyon.

The precipitation rates in the upper watershed have been high. It was the third wettest December in 38 years of record, at 178 per cent of average, Watson says. For January to date, it has also been the third wettest on record at 181 per cent of average.

“The John Hart generating station is running at full capacity and we expect the 110 m3/s release down Elk Falls to continue into next week,” Watson says. “We ask the public to stay away from Elk Falls Canyon and the Campbell River through next week with the high water flow conditions. The public can view Elk Falls from the safety of the suspension bridge or lookout.”

The Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake is currently at 219.85 metres and slowly dropping in advance of the next storm.

BC Hydro will review operations and the weather forecast early next week and adjust flows, hopefully downward, as needed, Watson says.