Rainfall prompts Puntledge River warning for all but kayakers
David Prothero of the Vancouver Island Whitewater Paddling Society took GoPro video of a wild ride down the Puntledge River amid the higher-than-normal river flows. Nov. 3, 2016. (YouTube)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, February 17, 2017 10:49AM PST
Last Updated Friday, February 17, 2017 5:48PM PST
BC Hydro is warning everyone except kayakers to stay away from the surging Puntledge River following heavy rainfall in recent days.
A storm has brought about 70 millimetres of rain to Comox Lake’s Upper Watershed, and combined with melting snow, the lake reservoir has risen about 20 centimetres and counting.
BC Hydro says it will increase water discharge below the Comox dam from 26 cubic metres per second to 70 cubic metres per second.
It’s advising the public to keep a safe distance away from the river until Tuesday morning – but not everyone is being asked to stay clear.
The company will increase water release to 90 cubic metres per second Saturday through Sunday to create good conditions for kayakers.
“Only experienced kayakers should enter the river, and ideally coordinated through the Vancouver Island Whitewater Paddling Society,” it said in a news release.
BC Hydro said the additional water poses no downstream flood risk, and it will reduce discharges from the dam if needed.