No alarm on Cleveland Dam to warn people of potential flooding, officials say

There is no alarm on the Cleveland Dam that could potentially warn people about a sudden change in river flow on the Capilano River.

Officials said Friday there is no alarm on the dam that is “public facing.”

“My understanding is that there is no alarm on the dam that is a public address-type system for people near the dam,” Jerry Dobrovolny, commissioner of Metro Vancouver, regional district said in a news conference.

“There is a telemetry system that sends information to our control room, which is over at the Seymour Dam.”

Metro Vancouver officials say the rapid release of water at the Cleveland Dam Thursday was not supposed to happen.

The spillway gate released a large volume of water during regular maintenance at the dam, flooding the Capilano River and pulling five people into the water.

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Four were rescued or managed to escape, while one man died, RCMP confirmed.

“There was no problem or failure or breach at the dam itself,” Dobrovolny said in a news conference Friday.

Read more:
Crews search for missing person after dam opened during maintenance, flooding Capilano River

“The dam is safe, there are no structural issues.”

The gate, which controls the flow of water over the spillway, was lowered rapidly, changing the flow of the river.

An investigation is underway into what went wrong during the maintenance operation.

The spillway gate is now locked and Dobrovolny said it will likely remain locked throughout the winter.

“The flow that hit yesterday wasn’t much different than the flow we had in September during heavy rainstorms,” Dobrovolny said.

“The issue was the rapid change.”


Click to play video 'Video shows fast-moving water flowing through North Vancouver’s Cleveland Dam'







Video shows fast-moving water flowing through North Vancouver’s Cleveland Dam


Video shows fast-moving water flowing through North Vancouver’s Cleveland Dam

People who were fishing in the river reported hearing the water coming through the canyon like a freight train, with no warning.

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“We have signs up and down the river bank to warn the public about the fast-flowing river but obviously the rapid change that happened yesterday was not intended to be covered by that,” Dobrovolny said.

The BC Coroners Service is also investigating the incident.




© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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