BC Hydro officials are breathing a little easier today as the rainstorm that hit on the weekend proved to not be as bad as feared.
“The storm last Friday-Saturday was not too bad,” BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson says. “The Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake level was able to hold steady during the storm.”
The upper reservoir hit a high of 220.45 metres on Friday. As of yesterday (Sunday) afternoon it was at 220.25 metres. It was expected to decrease slightly in the hours before the next storm arrived.
The storm forecast for Sunday night through Tuesday may drop about 100 mm to 150 mm in the upper watershed, Watson says.
“While still significant, it appears to not be as bad as it could have been,” he says. “Of course, things can shift when the storm arrives.”
With the updated weather forecast and water inflows, the Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake may crest below 220.6 metres on Wednesday.
“A reservoir level of 222 metres is what we try hard to avoid,” Watson says.
BC Hydro has been involved in daily preparedness calls with Emergency Management BC and with key City of Campbell River and Strathcona Regional District emergency response representatives. The close coordination continues.
“While things look a bit better, the storm event conditions could change so our team remains focused 24/7.”
For now, the water release of 450 m3/s past the three dams in the Campbell River system remains in place.
For public safety, people are asked to continue to stay away from the Campbell River.
“The Elk Falls viewing area has been very busy and we ask people to stay clear of the water flows upstream of the falls. Please obey safety signage.”
BC Hydro will provide an update as needed in the week ahead.