April 16, 2018 4:29 pm

Ice storm cleanup begins in Southwestern Ontario

The rain warning has been lifted from the London-Middlesex region, but residents are now dealing with the aftermath of a weekend ice storm.

Diane Doiron/The Canadian Press
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A rainfall warning may have been lifted for London-Middlesex, but residents are still dealing with the aftermath of an ice storm.

Environment Canada estimates that the London region saw 14 hours of freezing rain, mixed with ice pellets, over the weekend.

A total 55.1 millimeters of water fell from Saturday morning to late Sunday, causing major flooding concerns in the London area.

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“Unless people north of London have backup generators, they’re running into really bad flooding problems,” said Lucan-Biddulph Chief Administrative Officer, Ron Reymer.

READ MORE: Ice storms, blizzards and high winds in April: Did spring forget about Canada?

“But it is really nice to see the people in the small Lucan community helping each other out in whatever way they can,” he said.

WINMAR Project Manager Dan Kendall says the storm has pushed crews to run at full capacity.

“The biggest issue that we are seeing is that north of the city, many people don’t have power right now, which is cutting off their sub-pumps,” Kendall said.

Hydro One estimates that around 5,000 customers are without power near the Lucan and Parkhill areas, while 10,000 to 15,000  are without power near Clinton.

“What’s been extremely challenging is getting to customers further away from the London, which is stretching our resources thin. We’ve already given away as many backup generators as we have,” Kendall said.

For those without power, Lucan-Biddulph township has created three different warming centres.

The former library space at the Arena is open for warming, charging stations, and coffee, while the Lucan Library is open until 4 p.m. with charging stations available. The township office also remains open, but there is no phone service available.

READ MORE: Power outages in Oxford county lead to school closures

“We aren’t going to turn you away if you need help and not from Lucan,” Ron Reymer said.

“The doors are wide open for anyone who needs it,” he said.

While power may be back on for Londoners, lot’s of sporting fields and parks are suffering due to the saturation.

“We’ve seen a lot of debris all over our fields, in addition to some damage to the infrastructure,” said Parks and Recreation division manager, Jon-Paul McGonigle.

“The biggest issue we’ve had is due to the rain, as it’s really delayed our cleanup process,” McGonigle said.

McGonigle said he estimates sports fields will be ready by May 7, having pushed back the original date from May 1.

As for customers currently without power, Hydro One expects most of the outages to end by 6 p.m. Monday.

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