The government of Quebec has issued a risk of dam failure alert related to the Rouge River downstream of Chute-Bell dam.
The government has directed people in the affected area to evacuate immediately, effective yesterday afternoon.
The dam impounds water for a 10-MW hydroelectric powerhouse, and water has been overtopping it due to a high flow rate in the river. The run-of-river Chute-Bell facility contains two turbine-generator units and was commissioned in 1915.
Hydro-Quebec has acknowledged the high flow rate in the river and said yesterday, “We trust that the facilities will be able to resist.”
Hydro-Quebec operates about 60 hydroelectric generating stations with a total capacity of 36,366 MW, and nearly 100% of its electricity is generated using water. This clean electricity is delivered to customers across Quebec and to the province’s export markets, including the northeastern U.S.