Even at smaller volumes, changes to the river can put people at risk of being swept off their feet
METRO Vancouver is launching a safety education website to help residents stay safe while enjoying Capilano River Regional Park.
“The Capilano River is located downstream of the Cleveland Dam, which is part of Metro Vancouver’s drinking water system. The dam creates a reservoir that supplies drinking water to the region,” said Jerry Dobrovolny, Commissioner and CAO of Metro Vancouver, on Monday.
“Metro Vancouver is committed to enhancing safety for those enjoying nature around Capilano River Regional Park, and this safety education website is another tool to help those visiting the park keep safe by letting them know about the risks of being around the river and downstream of the dam.”
The website provides information about the Cleveland Dam and Capilano River, educational videos, information on what to do in case of an emergency, and safety tips such as: stay on designated trails, monitor the river for changes in water levels, and be ready for varying weather conditions with appropriate attire.
Metro Vancouver notes that Capilano River Regional Park is a beautiful and popular recreational area that is safe for residents and tourists to visit. However, water levels in the river can change rapidly at any time due to changes in the weather or dam operations. Without much notice, the Capilano River can rise more than five metres (16 feet) at various points along the river, with water moving faster than 21 kilometres per hour. Even at smaller volumes, changes to the river can put people at risk of being swept off their feet.
Metro Vancouver has taken a number of measures to enhance public safety downstream of the Cleveland Dam, including continuous improvement for dam operations, installing public-facing alarms, and adding more warning signs along the river.
As part of these measures, Metro Vancouver is also signing on with Alertable — a free, third-party app that notifies users if there is an emergency in their area. The app is commonly used by other emergency organizations in BC, and is a centralized location for emergency notifications. When Metro Vancouver sends an alert during an emergency, Alertable users will receive a message on their electronic device with clear and direct instructions on how to stay safe and what actions to take next.