Hydro Ottawa says they were able to reconnect thousands of Ottawans with power overnight, two days after two tornadoes ripped through the Ottawa-Gatineau region on Friday night, causing enormous damage.
As of 11:45 a.m. on Monday, about 3,806 customers remain without power – predominantly in the Nepean area, in the city’s west end – down from 33,000 who remained in the dark at 11 p.m. on Sunday night, the company tweeted.
Customers still waiting to come back online are predominantly in the Arlington Woods and Craig Henry neighbourhoods, two areas among the hardest hit by the second, less powerful twister, Hydro Ottawa said.
The company’s online outage map shows parts of Manordale, Sheehan Estates, Leslie Park and Centrepointe are still affected and waiting to be reconnected.
“Our crews continue to work to restore power in this heavily damaged area,” Hydro Ottawa tweeted.
Hydro crews have been working around the clock since Friday evening, when the two tornadoes destroyed dozens of homes, took down trees, smashed vehicles, and significantly damaged power lines and a critical transformer station in Merivale. Several people were admitted to hospital with serious injuries, two of whom were in critical condition.
Environment Canada confirmed over the weekend that an EF-3 category twister – with winds that reached 265 km/h – ripped through Dunrobin, about 35 kilometres west of the downtown area, before moving on to Gatineau.
The second tornado touched down in Arlington Woods at almost the same time, the federal agency said.
At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out, but by Sunday morning, the Hydro Ottawa and Hydro Quebec websites reported the number had been reduced to fewer than 80,000 – 70,000 in the Ottawa area and 8,300 in the Outaouais region, which encompasses Gatineau.
Late Sunday night, Hydro Ottawa managed to restore power to the Barrhaven, Lincoln Heights, Westboro and Hintonburg areas.
Despite this, many workplaces, schools and city services and facilities are not operating as normal on Monday.
The government of Canada on Sunday night asked federal employees in the National Capital Region to stay home and work from home – if possible – on Monday to “minimize commuting as well as demand on the electrical grid.”
In addition, the Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board announced citywide closures for Monday, citing power outages and extensive damage across the city.
The city of Ottawa has also posted changes to city services for the week of Sept. 24. Many services – including some library branches, child care centres, city facilities, the Ottawa Public Health dental clinic and the elections office – are closed on Monday.
- Ben Franklin Place at 101 Centrepointe Dr. and Mary Pitt Centre at 100 Constellation Dr. will be closed on Monday. All other client service centres are open.
- Any matters scheduled for Monday, Sept. 24 at the Provincial Offences Court at Constellation Drive will be rescheduled
- The City’s 311 contact centre will be open for urgent matters requiring the city’s immediate attention. Call 311 or 613-580-2400 to speak to a customer service representative. For persons with a hearing-related disability, call TTY: 613-580-2401.
Green bin, recycling and garbage collection
- Garbage collection continues this week as scheduled. If your green bin is full, you can place your organics in cardboard boxes or leaf and yard waste bags.
- If you have damaged appliances, furniture and electronics, do not dispose of them. Do not touch or move hazardous waste, such as propane tanks, paint, gas and oil. Please contact your insurance company for direction.
- There are no exceptions for construction and demolition waste or tree branches, which must be appropriately packaged. Twigs, tree branches and brush must not exceed 10 centimetres in diameter or 1.2 metres in length and must be appropriately packaged.
- All OC Transpo services are operating, with residual effects from the storm. Buses may be delayed where traffic signals are not operating and may be detoured where streets are not open.
- All OC Transpo Customer Service Centres are operating on normal schedules, except Lincoln Fields
- Power is unavailable at several Transitway stations. As a result, emergency telephones may not be working. OC Transpo special constables are patrolling those stations more frequently. For safety concerns anywhere on the transit system, call the special constables at 613-741-2478.
- All Shoppers routes (301-305) will operate normally. There will be enhanced service on Shoppers route 303 from Dunrobin and Carp to Stittsville, Kanata Centrum, Bayshore and Carlingwood. Route 303 will operate every day this week from Monday to Friday to provide enhanced service to this affected community.
- Follow @oc_transpo on Twitter or check octranspo.com for general status updates. Route detours and individual trip cancellations will be announced when possible on @octranspolive on Twitter and by email to customers who have subscribed to alerts at octranspo.com.
Recreation and culture facilities
- Visit ottawa.ca for a complete list of recreation and culture facilities that remain closed
- The Minto Recreation Complex at 3500 Cambrian Rd. and the Nepean Sportsplex at 1701 Woodroffe Ave. are open with power. People can go there to charge devices or shower.
Ottawa Public Health
- The Sexual Health Clinic will be open as usual. For satellite clinics, check OttawaPublicHealth.ca for hours and availability.
- The SITE program office, supervised consumption services and the mobile van will be open as usual
- The dental clinic on 1580 Merivale Rd. will be closed on Monday, Sept. 24. The clinic will contact patients who have scheduled appointments. Check OttawaPublicHealth.ca for hours and availability.
- The Ottawa Public Health Information Centre (613-580-6744) will be open as usual
- Parenting in Ottawa drop-ins are cancelled on Monday, Sept. 24. Call the Ottawa Public Information Centre (613-580-6744) if you need parenting support.
- Immunization appointments at 100 Constellation Dr. are cancelled for Monday, Sept. 24. The clinic will contact patients who have scheduled appointments.
Employment and Social Services
- The following three Employment and Social Service locations are fully operational at this time:
- South, 2020 Walkley Rd.
- Central, 370 Catherine St.
- East, 2339 Ogilvie Rd.
- If you are a recipient of Ontario Works and/or Child Care Subsidy, contact your caseworker
- If you are looking to apply for or request a benefit, you can contact 311 and select option 4
- The Elections Office at 1221 Cryville Rd. is closed on Monday, Sept. 24
- The City of Ottawa Archives are closed on Monday, Sept. 24
Municipal child care services
- Huron, Foster Farm and Borden Farm Child Care Centres are without power and will be closed on Monday, Sept. 24
- The following branches are closed Sept. 24:
- Nepean Centrepointe
- Emerald Plaza
- Ruth E. Dickinson
- Up-to-date information is available on the Ottawa Public Library’s website
— With files from Eric Stober and the Canadian Press