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Ontario crews out in ‘full force’ after thousands lose power following storms

Click to play video: 'Global News at 5:30 Toronto: June 13, 2024'
Global News at 5:30 Toronto: June 13, 2024
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Hydro One says its crews are out in “full force” after thunderstorms and the threat of tornadoes led to thousands waking up without power Friday morning.

On Thursday, several tornado warnings were issued in Ontario due to severe thunderstorms.

The aftermath has led to power outages throughout Ontario.

While communities throughout the province are impacted by small outages, Hydro One says the major outages are in the Bracebridge, Minden and Huntsville areas.

“We understand how difficult it is to be without power, which is why, with all of the outages that we saw happen from last night’s storm, it is all hands on deck this morning,” said Bianca Teixeira, a Hydro One spokesperson.

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“Our crews are out in full force, and they’re responding as quickly and safely as possible to get power back on for our customers across the province.”

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Environment Canada reports that winds were up to 100 kilometres per hour in some places, but there were no confirmed touchdowns of tornadoes in Ontario.

Teixeira said because of advanced warning, they readied their crews the night before for the anticipated cleanup.

She said crews Friday are dealing with a mix of issues from fallen branches on lines to fallen trees leading to damaged hydro polls.

“There have been some pretty hard-hit areas, but what we’ve done is we’ve mobilized crews from other parts of the province,” she said. “So what that means is, as powers are stored in one area, those crews are then moved to a different area, where they can lend their help.”

She said crews are working hard to repair all the damage Friday and restore power but said they will reassess later in the day to see if crews will need others to continue working throughout the night.

As clean-up efforts continue, the Electrical Safety Authority has some warnings for residents, including always assuming a downed power line is live and staying at least 10 metres away and calling 911.

The authority cautions residents to wait until the power is disconnected or power lines are repaired before starting yard cleanup, as downed power lines may be hidden beneath debris and tree branches.

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