The John Hart Dam releases lots of water into the river below.
Photo Credit: Campbell River MIrror

Steer Clear of the Campbell River

BC Hydro is releasing extra water to protect the dams from flooding

Elk Falls might look awesome right now, but that river will ruin your day if you fall in

Folks in Campbell River might notice that the river is looking pretty full these days. It has been one of the wettest Novembers on record, so it’s no small wonder that things down there are a bit wild.

But BC Hydro is also releasing extra water from the John Hart Dam to protect it from extra stress that happens when the reservoir is too full.

With all these storms we’ve had, John Hart lake is holding a lot of water. Add three atmospheric rivers to the rivers on the ground and you’ve got a pretty damp situation.

If John Hart Lake gets too full, water could flow over the dam, or the water could break the dam.

Stephen Watson from BC Hydro shared this video to show just how much water is coming through the spillway gates right now.

Part of why there’s so much water in the system is because John Hart is the last in a chain of dams that hold water all the way from Butte Lake to Campbell River. That means rain that fell on the whole region ends up flowing through that one dam.

A map that shows the Strathcona Dam, Ladore Falls Dam, and John Hart Dam all west of Campbell River.Map by VanIsle.News staff.

No wonder Elk Falls gets so raging.

So be really careful if you’re out near the river for the next little while. BC Hydro will slow things down once the storm systems pass.

You may want to get that awesome Facebook photo of the wild river. But one wrong step and it will totally ruin your day.