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HomeNewsBC Hydro extends public safety advisory for Elk Falls Canyon, Campbell River

BC Hydro extends public safety advisory for Elk Falls Canyon, Campbell River

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People are still being urged to keep away from the Campbell River.

BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson says the public safety advisory in place due to high water flows has now been extended through Wednesday, Nov. 17.

“River flows and the water flow around Elk Falls will continue to be high and dangerous. Our temporary safety signage along the falls area and the river will be updated today,” Watson says.

Over the past two weeks, he says crews have been releasing an extra 100 cubic metres per second (m3/s) down Elk Falls Canyon.

That’s in addition to the water discharge from the John Hart generating station, which is already running at full capacity.

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“The Elk Falls Canyon flow is about 110 m3/s and the downstream Campbell River is about 235 m3/s,” Watson explains. “The flow rate down the canyon may continue until Wednesday and then move down to the base flow of 4 m3/s.”

Meanwhile, the Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake hit a high of about 219.9 metres on Nov. 5. It moved down to 219.25 metres, but is currently at 219.45 metres and slowly rising, Watson says.

“The Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake provides about 80 per cent of the watershed’s water storage. By the end of this week, the reservoir level may be around 219 metres.”

According to Watson, BC Hydro prefers to see the reservoir level below 220.5 metres for flexibility in flood risk management operations.

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He says rainfall was well above normal for October and November to date, but finds the forecast “looks better for the week ahead.”

“This watershed has been on the edge of the last three atmospheric events to hit the coast over the past week or so, including the major event currently hitting southern Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley areas,” Watson adds.

“The Campbell River watershed in the past 48 hours has had about 55 mm of rain, versus over 300 mm of rain for the Jordan River watershed near Sooke.”

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