Campbell River waterfalls surge with record rains
BC Hydro opens spillway as rain fills Vancouver Island reservoir
The power utility is releasing water into the Campbell River to manage flood risk.
Record rainfall has filled the reservoir behind the John Hart Dam — and more storms are in the forecast.
"This is actually providing a great viewing opportunity for people to take in Elk Falls," BC Hydro spokesman Stephen Watson said.
"The view should be spectacular."
- Near record rain for Vancouver this October
- Dam failure a quake risk for Campbell River
- Flooding causes evacuations near Port Alberni, Courtenay
Today's video of Elk Falls.<br>120 m3/s flow rate.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CampbellRiver?src=hash">#CampbellRiver</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodRiskManagement?src=hash">#FloodRiskManagement</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCStorm?src=hash">#BCStorm</a> <a href="https://t.co/h8kZ89fwhS">pic.twitter.com/h8kZ89fwhS</a>—@Puntledge
BC Hydro has ramped up the rate of water releases over the week until today, when the flow over Elk Falls reached 120 cubic metres a second. That compares to the year-round base rate of four cubic metres a second.
"The wet weather isn't looking to let up anytime soon," Watson said.
Storm season typically starts in mid-November, so BC Hydro wants to lower the reservoir level to handle the precipitation that is still to come.
"I certainly encourage people in and around the area to come up and check out Elk Falls, particularly on the weekend, " Watson said.
This is what a 100 m3/s water release down the Strathcona dam spillway looks like.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CampbellRiver?src=hash">#CampbellRiver</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCStorm?src=hash">#BCStorm</a> <a href="https://t.co/eZj2act8N5">pic.twitter.com/eZj2act8N5</a>—@Puntledge
"We don't spill water too often on the Campbell River system, given the size of the watershed."
The public is urged to view the falls from the Elk Falls Suspension Bridge, and to stay away from the river itself — especially above the falls, where the water flow is dangerous and the banks are slippery.
"The moss is out, and if you slip and fall in, given the v-shaped nature of that canyon, you're not going to get out," Watson said.