Consider viewing Elk Falls from the suspension bridge. The public safety advisory urging people to keep away from the Elk Falls Canyon and the Campbell River has been extended, again.
The advisory, first issued on Nov. 4, was set to expire today (Tuesday). Due to high river flows, it’s back in effect starting tonight through Dec. 3.
BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson says temporary safety signage is in place, with crews closely following three potential “atmospheric rivers” forecasted to hit the coast.
“One is forecasted for tomorrow afternoon into Thursday, then Saturday, and then potentially another on Tuesday,” Watson notes.
“They may be smaller ‘atmospheric rivers’ with the exception of the Saturday event, as it looks stronger and may stall in the region. They will also come with high freezing levels to 2500 metres so there will be snowmelt on top of the rain.”
According to Watson, these systems can move north or south and intensify or diminish, shifting water inflows into the Campbell River system “significantly.”
Hydrologists are actually forecasting a daily average of about 300 cubic metres per second (m3/s) coming into the system starting Thursday into early next week.
“Tonight, we will increase the water releases downstream of the three dams, with the Elk Falls Canyon below the John Hart Dam moving from 4 m3/s to 100 m3/s,” says Watson, noting that’s 25 times normal flow.
“The total Campbell River flow will then be about 224 m3/s. We hope to hold at this level until the systems pass,” he adds.
In response to the three forecasted atmospheric rivers that may hit the coast starting tomorrow afternoon to Tuesday, tonight we will release 100 m3/s down Elk Falls Canyon. 25x normal flow and similar to early Nov.
⚠️Pls stay away from the #CampbellRiver to Dec 3. #BCStorm pic.twitter.com/cUt13CHHrQ
— Stephen Watson, BC Hydro (@SWatson_BCH) November 23, 2021