Crews remove spillway gate from Cleveland Dam ahead of forecasted rainfall
VANCOUVER -- With heavy rain in the forecast, crews have removed the spillway gate from the Cleveland Dam and installed new information signs for people visiting the Capilano River.
The measures come one week after the gate released a torrent of water, sweeping away several anglers and killing North Vancouver artist Ryan Nickerson.
The deceased's son, who is also believed to have been in the area that day, has been missing since the accident.
The spillway gate was locked in place following the tragedy, and Metro Vancouver regional officials said staff were able to remove it from service Friday after sufficiently lowering Capilano Lake below the gate's elevation.
Crews also installed digital signs at key entrances to Capilano River Regional Park to alert visitors of "anticipated river level changes as a result of the rain."
Officials said they expect the spillway gate to remain out of service throughout the winter.
"During the winter months, the water coming from the lake will spill naturally over the spillway and into the river below," Metro Vancouver regional district said in a news release. "Residents and park users will continue to see fluctuations in the river levels throughout the fall and winter as a result of natural weather patterns and gradual release of water through the lower release systems in the dam."
Officials urged people using the river to exercise caution, as water levels can rise rapidly.
On Thursday, chief administrative officer Jerry Dobrovolny revealed the deadly accident appears to have been caused by "human error relating to programming the spillway at the dam."
"Metro Vancouver takes responsibility for this mistake," he said. "Our deepest sympathies go out to those affected by the tragic loss of life."
A CTV News investigation documented a series of dam releases going back to the 1970s, including one that may have been connected to the death of an eight-year-old girl.
Meanwhile, the search for Ryan Nickerson's son remains ongoing. North Vancouver RCMP said they will be providing updates on their efforts as the search continues.