The Mica Dam spillway opened for the first time since 1997 to deal with record inflow into the Kinbasket Reservoir this season.

VIDEO: Spectacular Mica Dam spill first since 1997

The Kinbasket Reservoir is experiencing the most inflow in 40 years, leading to spectacular spilling at Mica Dam

BC Hydro has opened the Mica Dam spillway for the first time since 1997, sending up to 1,133 cubic meters of water per second down the three-pronged spillway, culminating in a violent and beautiful explosion of water at the dam base.

The water drops 150 metres as it races along the 585-metre spillway – the highest drop of any BC Hydro dam.

BC Hydro spokesperson Jennifer Walker-Larsen explained the planned, 24-hour water release on July 26–27 was a test of the dam spillway, “in anticipation of possible releases that may be needed to pass record high reservoir inflows this year.”

Although the 1,133-cubic-meter (40,000-cubic-feet) per second rate created a roaring torrent of water that dwarfs heavy construction vehicles parked nearby, Walker-Larsen said it was only a fraction of the dam’s maximum. The Mica Dam spillway was constructed to handle 3,171 cubic meters (112,000 cubic feet) per second.

The spilling follows very high water inflows into the Columbia River system in B.C.’s Southern Interior this season. The Mica Dam holds back the Kinbasket Reservoir, which is forecast to receive more inflow than any other year on record in 40 years since the dam was competed in 1973. BC Hydro experts expect the Kinbasket Reservoir to get 20.3 cubic kilometres of inflow from February to September this year – nearly five cubic kilometres more than normal.

The Mica Dam is located about 135 kilometres north of Revelstoke along Highway 23 North. It is currently undergoing extensive upgrades.

Here are three videos of the July 26–27 test taken by BC Hydro:

 

The spillway usually looks like this when closed: 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO by Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Times Review

Just Posted

Snowfall warning issued for Highway 1 from Salmon Arm to Golden

Environment Canada says to expect 15-30 cm of snow by Thursday evening

Q and A with MLA Doug Clovechok for Columbia River Revelstoke

Columbia River Treaty, Three Valley Gap improvements, caribou, and invasive species were discussed

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke, set to reopen at 7:30 p.m.

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near the west entrance to… Continue reading

Cafe opens in U.S. named Revelstoke Coffee

The owners visited Revelstoke two years ago, loved it and decided to name their business after it

Revelstoke council to hear first proposed cannabis store application

Starbuds would be located at 109 Connaught Ave.

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Single-bridge option chosen to replace Highway 1 bridge in Sicamous

Five-lane span selected over plan with second bridge at Sicamous’ Main Street

Submissions sought for UBC Okanagan’s annual fiction competition

University’s annual short-story contest enters its 21st year

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Most Read