Heavy rains cause minor erosion, but no major impacts at Site C, says Hydro

BC Hydro says it has no substantial impacts to report at Site C after heavy rains dropped nearly 50mm on Fort St. John in the last 24 hours.

The city recorded 49.6mm between 4 a.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday, according to Environment Canada. The same was recorded in Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, and the Braden Road where localized flooding has been reported.

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BC Hydro spokesman Greg Alexis says in-river construction work was temporarily suspended Sunday evening, but resumed today. There were no substantial impacts to report, he said.

“Our crews are in the process of dewatering some areas of site and there is some minor erosion in a few places that’s being managed, which is not uncommon for a rain event like this,” said spokesman Greg Alexis. "We continue to monitor conditions and construction activities continue as planned with worker safety being paramount.”

There were 1,135 workers reported at the work camp outside Fort St. John as of Monday.

A low pressure storm system dropped the brunt of its might over the Hudson’s Hope area: the weather station there recorded 87.4mm, while the Graham forestry site recorded 88mm, Environment Canada said.

The storm was on the northwest side of the same weather system that pummelled Calgary over the weekend with 48.7mm of rain in a single hour, along with hail up to the size of tennis balls that destroyed cars and homes.

Another 10 to 20mm of rain is expected throughout the Peace today and tonight, before the storm tapers off toward Dease Lake and the southern Yukon into Tuesday. A remnant band of rain showers in the area will bring variable rain amounts between trace amounts to up to 10mm.

The weather is forecast to dry out Wednesday as a ridge of high pressure builds up over Vancouver Island and stretches northeast across the central interior of the province.

The forecast calls for sun and temperatures above 20 C from Wednesday to Sunday.

old-fort-road
Old Fort Road, just downstream of Site C, June 15, 2020. A major landslide happened here and destroyed the road in 2018. - Dillon Giancola

BC Hydro, meanwhile, has closed boat access through Site C via the Peace and Moberly Rivers effective today.

The closures come as it prepares for river diversion in September, when construction crews will begin building the earthfill dam across the main channel of the Peace River.

BC Hydro says it will be placing debris booms across the river and undertaking other in-river construction works at the dam site. Restricted areas will be marked with signage and beacons. 

Read more: Peace River closed at Site C

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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