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Teamwork on Sturgeon River helps prevent flood scenario

 Teamwork on Sturgeon River helps prevent flood scenario

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Quick-thinking teamwork between OPG’s Northeast Operations and another hydroelectric operator helped prevent a potential flooding scenario near Sturgeon Falls.

On Jan. 17, OPG received a request from West Nipissing Power Generation to reduce flows at OPG facilities upstream of West Nipissing’s generating station on the Sturgeon River, west of North Bay, after ice formation jammed spill gates that control the release of water.

After consulting with West Nipissing Power and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, OPG made the decision to reduce flows at its Crystal Falls Generating Station and two control dams upstream of the station.

The spillway at Crystal Falls Generating Station.
The spillway at Crystal Falls Generating Station.

Within minutes, crews from OPG’s North Bay Work Centre were on the ground to perform the required log operations to reduce the water flow. This quick action helped West Nipissing Power address their mechanical issue and prevent flooding downstream.

“We worked together to ensure that impacts were minimized and the response went as smoothly as possible,” said Bruce Robertson, VP of OPG’s Northeast Operations. “Communication, information-sharing and team work were all key to the safe resolution of this incident.”

OPG’s operations in the area have since returned to normal, with the quick action resulting in a Flood Warning being downgraded to a Watershed Conditions Statement.

To prepare for any future incidents, OPG’s Northeast Operations team will continue to work with West Nipissing Power to assist in emergency preparedness planning.

OPG advises the public to use caution on and around the Sturgeon River as water levels return to seasonal ranges.​