Logs wash up on South Island Highway stopping traffic during Thursday’s wind and rain storm.

Storm season ‘blows’ into town

Flood warnings were issued in anticipation of the second storm of last week, but it turned out that Thursday’s storm was the big one

  • Tue Nov 29th, 2011 1:00pm
  • News

Flood warnings were issued in anticipation of the second storm of last week, but it turned out that Thursday’s was the big one.

The City of Campbell River sent out a weather advisory on Friday for that night through to Sunday afternoon. It asked residents to prepare for heavy rains, high winds and possible flooding along shorelines due to higher than normal tides combined with a storm surge. Sand bags were made available to residents in flood prone areas.

While mudslides occurred on sections of the highway up past Sayward, Campbell River faired this storm with no major rain-caused events.

BC Hydro also prepared for the big storm, and while the water in the reservoir rose, it was kept under control.

“BC Hydro was able to absorb the full brunt of the storm for flood risk management because of the lower than normal reservoir level for the time of year,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson.

“Leading up to this intense but short duration storm event, the weather had been cool and dry, and what precipitation that did occur fell as snow.”

Starting Saturday night, the Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake rose approximately one and a half metres in 36 hours. The peak hourly inflow into the reservoir hit a very high 1500 m3/s at 7:00 a.m. Sunday, which Watson said is almost a one in ten year storm event.

The reservoir is now about one and a half metres from levels where BC Hydro begins to spill water through the system for flood risk management.

There are no spills forecast for the immediate future.

While the storm on the weekend turned out to be less intense than expected, Thursday’s storm caused flooding, washed up driftwood on South Island Highway and power outages.

“The Campbell River region was the hardest hit on Vancouver Island from (Thursday’s) storm. Approximately 8,000 customers were out of power at peak,” said Watson.

“The outages were caused by tree debris and tree failures that came across our power lines.

“Some BC Hydro customers on Cortes Island went through the night without power, given the high winds that impacted BC Ferry sailings.”