City of Ottawa officials say it would take three to four days to restore power to everyone in Ottawa after a powerful and deadly storm tore through the city on Saturday.
Speaking to the media on Sunday afternoon, Mayor Jim Watson said the 24 hours had been difficult, but citizens will need to remain patient.
“With over 170,000 customers without power, not everything can be done in about an hour,” he said. “It’s not clear when everyone will regain their power. We expect it to be within the next three to four days.
Saturday afternoon’s storm swept through the city with winds of up to 120 km/h, toppling trees and snapping more than 200 utility poles.
Hydro Ottawa’s Joseph Muglia told reporters that about 5,000 customers had their power restored by Sunday afternoon, but more than 170,000 customers were still without power.
“This includes approximately 560 unique outages in the service territory,” he explained. “The damage assessment is still ongoing. We’ve done quite a bit of that now, but there’s still a lot to do, in terms of fully assessing the damage of all the areas involved.
A Hydro Ottawa news release issued at 6 p.m. said nearly 10,000 customers had been restored.
Muglia said an order for replacement utility poles was placed immediately and they are being delivered. He said there were no supply chain issues with acquiring the necessary poles.
“The poles need to be replaced. They cannot be repaired. There are times when we can fix a pole in a temporary situation… but from what we’ve seen, especially when you have a line of poles where a number of poles have fallen off, those need to be replaced” , did he declare.
Muglia also said it could take three to four days for everyone to get back online. Hydro Ottawa is prioritizing community infrastructure such as hospitals while evaluating which customers can be safely restored without compromising others.
At Sunday’s press conference, reporters learned that the Robert O. Pickard Environmental Center’s wastewater treatment plant had lost power, but service was restored when the press conference ended. hurry.
Long lines have been reported at gas stations, fast food outlets and grocery stores in Ottawa and Gatineau. Several stations were sold out of gas.
Watson asked people to be patient as Hydro Ottawa works to restore power.
“These crews are working around the clock and I’m not particularly happy when I see constant attacks on social media against our hydroelectric crews and our first responders,” he said. “They are working hard to make sure we get power back as quickly as possible.”
Watson said the city has the resources it needs to deal with the current emergency, so a state of emergency is not needed at this time.
Map of Hydro Ottawa outages as of 5 p.m. May 22, 2022. (hydroottawa.com)
A powerful storm rolled through the National Capital Region around 4 p.m. with winds of 120 km/h, leaving a trail of damaged homes, downed trees and broken utility poles and wires. The city reports damaged property and fallen trees throughout the city, “particularly in the Navan, Stittsville, Merivale and Hunt Club areas.”
Three deaths were reported in the Ottawa area as a result of the storm. Ottawa police say a 59-year-old man died after being struck by a falling tree at a golf course on Golf Club Way in west Ottawa. The inquest into the death is continuing.
A 51-year-old woman drowned after her boat capsized on the Ottawa River near Masson-Angers, Quebec. In the Ottawa Valley, a 44-year-old man died after being struck by a falling tree in Grand Madawaska Township.
Watson says City of Ottawa parks and forestry staff have been deployed across the city to clean up the mess.
POWER OUTAGES IN QUEBEC
Hydro Quebec reports 76,905 customers without power in the Outaouais, as of 5 p.m.
Outages are reported in Gatineau, including major outages in Aylmer.
It is not known when power will be restored.
OTTAWA POLICE INTERVENTION
Ottawa police are asking motorists to avoid travel if possible and to be aware of debris and live wires on the roads.
Several roads remain closed due to downed trees and power lines.
“Multiple road closures and infrastructure replacement will continue for days,” police said.
The police say they have “maintained reinforced operations” in the areas most affected by the storm.
“Uniformed patrols have been increased in the worst affected areas and will continue,” police said in an update Sunday morning.
Police said there were few incidents to report; however, there was a break and enter along Merivale Road.
“Officers responded to a break and enter in progress in the 1600 block of Merivale Road just before 11 p.m. and arrested an individual exiting a building,” police said.
Ottawa police received approximately 2,400 calls for service between 3 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.
On Saturday, there were 2,807 calls to 911. On a typical Saturday, there are nearly 900 calls to 911.
THE CITY OPENS EMERGENCY RECEPTION CENTERS
The City of Ottawa is opening emergency reception centers for residents affected by Saturday’s severe storm. Mayor Jim Watson said the following sites would be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The following sites are open for supplying charging devices, showers and toilets:
The following installation provides energy for recharging appliances and toilets:
The city says catering services will be offered at additional centers in the coming hours and days.
Long lines were reported at gas stations, grocery stores, fast food outlets and convenience stores across Ottawa on Sunday as people sought supplies.
In Kanata, long lines formed at the Ultramar on Hazeldean Road, where motorists were filling up gas tanks and jerry cans.
A long queue for petrol at the Ultamar on Hazeldean Road on Sunday. (Annette Goerner/CTV News Ottawa)
In western Quebec, there were long lines at gas stations as motorists sought to fill up. Joel Haslam of CTV News Ottawa said that at the only gas station in Chelsea, Quebec, only one pump is open and only his money.
Residents line up at Chelsea’s only gas station. A pump is open and it is cash only. (Joel Haslam/CTV News Ottawa)
In College Square, several restaurants had long lines as people searched for coffee and food.
The National Capital Commission is asking people to avoid Gatineau Park after the storm caused damage throughout the park.
The NCC advises that all parkways, with the exception of Philippe Lake Parkway and the Pioneer and Pike Lake Trail, are closed in Gatineau Park until further notice.
“We ask users to avoid Gatineau Park and the Greenbelt and to remain patient while our teams secure and clean our sites,” the NCC said.
NATIONAL CAPITAL COMMISSION PROPERTIES IN OTTAWA
The National Capital Commission says all areas of the Greenbelt are closed until further notice following the storm.
“Following Saturday’s storm, there are fallen or dangerous trees throughout the area. NCC crews are working hard to assess and secure our sites,” the NCC said Saturday.
“We ask users to avoid Gatineau Park and the Greenbelt and to remain patient while our crews secure and clear our sites.”
VOTING IN ADVANCE
Advance polls are closed in several ridings in Ottawa and east of the capital on Sunday after the storm. Here is an overview of the polling stations closed on Sunday.
- CARDELREC Recreation Center on Shea Road in Stittsville
- Greely Community Center on Meadow Drive in Greely
- Rideauview Community Center on Shoreline Drive in Gloucester
- Kanata Recreation Complex at Charlie Rogers Square in Stittsville
- West Carleton Community Complex on Carp Road in Kinburn
- Walter Baker Sports Center on Malvern Drive
- All polling stations are open
- All polling stations are open
- All polling stations open
- All polling stations open
- Ron Kolbus Lakeside Center on Greenview Avenue
- Hawkesbury Mall Manager’s Office
- Maple Hall – Cumberland Lions Club on Old Montreal Road in Cumberland
Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project will deploy a team to southern Ottawa today to determine if a tornado has struck the area.
“It is expected that more locations susceptible to tornado damage will be visited tomorrow, and possibly beyond.”
You can file a report with the Western University Northern Tornadoes Project.