The sun shone briefly in the Comox Valley today, a brief reprieve from the onslaught of storms hitting Vancouver Island.

“We’ve had six storms over 10 days and we’ve had probably around 300 mm of precipitation, not all of it’s fallen as rain, there has been snow in the mountains at higher elevations,” said BC Hydro’s Stephen Watson.

BC Hydro has been working overtime to keep the Puntledge River within its banks while at the same time managing water levels behind the Comox Lake dam. And now the highest tides of the year, king tides will be an added factor next week from the 24th to the 26th.

“They’ll be building up starting this weekend so when you get the high tides and the rivers peak at the wrong time, storm surges from winds and all of those variables can add up to potential localized flooding in Courtenay but for now it looks pretty good,” added Watson.

The Puntledge River has been running fast for over a week as BC Hydro continues to release upwards of 200 m³ of water a second from the Comox dam.

BC Hydro is warning people to stay away from the Puntledge River.

“So we’re releasing from 200 m³ per second down to about 50 and then we’re going to go back up to 200 m³ a second so that’ll continue likely through this week between high tides in an effort to lower the reservoir,” said Watson. “We need to keep it low enough that it doesn’t spill over the dam and leave room in the reservoir because during the King tides we won’t be able to release water.”

Dean Stoltz