Tri-City residents were warned to stay away from the banks of the Coquitlam River Tuesday morning because BC Hydro is releasing water from the Coquitlam reservoir to lower its level in advance of heavy rains and snow melt over the next several days.
Flooding is not expected but people are encouraged to be cautious around the river, the city of Coquitlam stated on its Facebook page.
In an email to The Tri-City News, BC Hydro confirmed that it is releasing 40 cubic metres — or about 40,000 litres — of water per second from the reservoir above the Coquitlam dam. But the BC Hydro spokesperson did not say how long this water release would last.
The statement explained that the controlled release is weather-related.
“Moderate to heavy rainfall and snow melt in the Lower Mainland is expected over the next few days into next week. In advance of this, we are spilling water at the Coquitlam dam in preparation for potential large inflows to the Coquitlam Reservoir — this will help reduce the potential for flood risk,” said spokesperson Susie Reider.
Water flows are being closely monitored and BC Hydro will continue to communicate with the local community, Reider further stated.
Rain is expected for seven days, according to Environment Canada.