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Public Safety Advisory: Annual Spring Melt of Ice and Snow in the Churchill River

May 10th, 2022

At this time of year, we provide the public with information regarding the upcoming spring melt on the lower Churchill River, as well as important safety information to keep in mind if you are around the Muskrat Falls generating facility.

Spring thaw

As temperatures continue to warm up, the annual spring melt of ice and snow in the Churchill River watershed will begin. Over the coming days and weeks, the melting snow will increase local water inflows into the Churchill River. As this happens, the ice on the river will begin to thaw and break-up. As the spring melt occurs, the increased water flows will pass through the generation facility as we continue to maintain the water level in the reservoir at our targeted elevation of around 39m.

Safety around ice and water

Always keep safety top of mind when participating in outdoor activities. The ice cover around the Muskrat Falls facility is unsafe for recreational use due to fluctuating water flows and changing ice conditions. Please be aware that there are areas of thin ice and open water on the river and we advise people to avoid the ice and river upstream and directly downstream of the facility.

Monitoring the facility

We have a team of individuals and dam safety personnel who frequently monitor all of the dam structures to confirm that they are performing as designed. All structures continue to perform as expected and there are no safety concerns with any of the structures.

Monitoring on the Churchill River

The Department of Environment and Climate Change – Water Resources Management Division (WRMD) is monitoring and reporting on water levels and ice thickness on the lower Churchill River. Through the spring melt the WRMD will post information on its website and share information with the Local River Watch Committee. This information is available here: https://www.gov.nl.ca/ecc/waterres/flooding/lc-flood-warning/



Media Contact:

Jill Pitcher
Senior Communications Advisor, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro
t. 709.737.1219 / c. 709.689.9938 e. JillPitcher@nalcorenergy.com