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Six audible and visual alarms to be installed near site of North Vancouver dam, river tragedy

Water flows over the Cleveland Dam as people walk with a dog in Cleveland Park in North Vancouver, B.C., on Christmas Day, Friday Dec. 25, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A public warning system is set to be installed along the Capilano River more than six months after a surge of water there claimed two lives.

Starting Monday, Metro Vancouver will be putting up six audible and visual alarms along the waterway and at the Cleveland Dam.

During the testing period, people may hear one or more five-minute soundings of the alarms a day.

Click to play video: 'Three Metro Vancouver employees fired in Cleveland Dam tragedy' Three Metro Vancouver employees fired in Cleveland Dam tragedy
Three Metro Vancouver employees fired in Cleveland Dam tragedy – Oct 30, 2020

Five people were swept away on Oct. 1, 2020 when an error during maintenance on the dam’s spillway resulted in a large volume of water being released.

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A father and son were killed in the incident and others had to scramble for safety.

A subsequent preliminary investigation by Metro Vancouver determined human error was responsible for the water being let through.

Read more: Watchdog identified concerns in 2002 at North Vancouver dam at centre of river tragedy

In addition to the alarms, new public safety information signage has been installed in numerous locations throughout Capilano River Regional Park.

“The engagement process will be comprehensive and thorough because we know that there are many people who work and recreate along this river who have valuable input for us to consider before we implement a long-term solution,” said Metro Vancouver Commissioner Jerry Dobrovolny in a  release.

“We are also conducting environmental and social impact assessments to ensure that we appropriately consider how the alarm system could affect nearby residents, as well as birds and other wildlife.”

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