BC Hydro doubling water release from John Hart Dam

The last time BC Hydro initiated a spill down Elk Falls Canyon in the month of September was 1997

BC Hydro is warning the public to be cautious around the Campbell River over the weekend..

BC Hydro will proceed with spilling water over the John Hart Dam and advises the public to stay away from the Campbell River, below dam to the estuary, through Monday. While the water inflows did not materialize as forecast yesterday, they were not insignificant. The Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake has increased to 219.2 m, said BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson.

BC Hydro is monitoring the forecasted weather for the next few days, and particularly a large storm with up to 100 mm of rain over 24 hours tracking to hit the northern tip on Vancouver Island on Sunday. The concern is the possibility of the storm shifting southward. In addition, there is another strong storm hitting the Island on Monday and further wet weather for next week, while of less intensity.

BC Hydro’s updated forecast shows upstream water inflows into the Campbell River system to be an average of about 300 m3/s for the next five days. For background, gravel for fish habitat begins to move in the canyon at approximately 110 m3/s.

The Upper Campbell Reservoir will continue to rise and with its levels already unseasonably high, this evening, BC Hydro will commence a spill from John Hart Dam of 100 m3/s down the Elk Falls Canyon. The normal base flow is around 4 m3/s. A total release of approximately 220 m3/s through the hydroelectric system and below John Hart will limit the rate of rise in the upstream reservoirs for flood risk management. BC Hydro has discussed the forecasted weather and its operations with government fish agencies.

If the water inflow forecast is accurate, Upper Campbell Reservoir could reach around 220.25 m by Monday/Tuesday.

This is the third time in approximately 50 years that BC Hydro has initiated a spill down Elk Falls Canyon in the month of September.

There is currently no risk of downstream flooding. BC Hydro will provide a further update on Monday, in the early afternoon.

Last week, BC Hydro communicated to the community that it was slowly doubling water releases into the Campbell River, over a nine day period, to 122 m3/s by September 27. This is done each September to lower the upstream reservoirs in anticipation of the fall rains and flood risk management.

Just Posted

Diver discovers possible historic anchor off Campbell River

The rusted, barnacle-encrusted anchor was wedged into the bottom off Quadra Island… Continue reading

Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Salvation Army and Sobering Centre offer a total of 40 beds

SRD chair, CAO to respond to 32 letters from Cortes Island

Board votes for responses in light of delegations being turned down

Back to school for Vancouver Island’s snow-covered kids, more snow coming

All school districts in business this morning but officials warn another 5-10 centimetres today

Comox Strathcona Waste Management looks at tipping fees

Fees part of planned review that could offset future tax hikes in regions

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read