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General · 23rd May 2012
Steve Watson
Hello everyone,
Public safety is BC Hydro's number one priority.
Effective May 18 BC Hydro will prohibit the public from entering the river beside the John Hart Generating Station out of concern for the dangerous tree hazard within the Campbell River. The old-growth hemlock is located about 500 metres downstream of the station and has fallen across the river, covering about 75 per cent of the river channel. This is a potentially fatal public safety river hazard and BC Hydro has decided to lock the public river access gate beside the generating station until further notice. The Canyon View Trail remains fully open through BC Hydro property.

The increasing warm weather and higher river flow conditions presents a high public safety risk should tubers or water craft become entangled within the tree. The power of water and its currents are often underestimated.

BC Hydro has been monitoring the situation since the tree fell into the river in March from the wind storm. We have been in contact with Destiny River Adventures, BC Parks, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

BC Hydro asks the public to re-direct and enter the river below the tree hazard. Should the tree be dislodged, public river access from our property will be restored.

We gave thorough consideration for this situation given the public enjoyment of the river. There are always potential risks from trees lodged against river banks and river safety should always be top of mind. This is the first time in recent memory that we have prohibited river access from our property from a downstream river hazard. Given the unique situation of the tree size, the way it has fallen into the river and the river coverage, and the experience required to navigate away from the tree, BC Hydro believes the safety of the public is of highest priority.

Signs will be placed in the John Hart parking lot and on the river access gate.

The only river access that will be provided from our property is to Destiny River Adventures.

Any questions can be directed to me at 250-755-4795 or steve.watsonbchydro.com.

Update: BC Hydro has now received approval from the Comptroller of Water Rights to operate John Hart outside of our water license given the high snow pack. This was outlined in Wednesday’s operations notice. BC Hydro will proceed tonight to increase the downstream river flow by 25 per cent by tomorrow morning.

Regards,
Stephen