October 12, 2018 1:38 pm
Updated: October 12, 2018 1:45 pm

Power outage planned for Sunday to repair tornado-damaged station in west Ottawa

A category EF-2 tornado that hit Ottawa's west end on Sept. 21, 2018 left Hydro One's Merivale transmission station "destroyed," according to the utility. Restoring the station cost Hydro One approximately $10 million, the company said.

Hydro One / Twitter

More than 48,000 Hydro Ottawa customers and 2,000 customers of Hydro One will have their electricity cut briefly early Sunday morning as crews for the latter power utility make another wave of critical repairs to the Merivale transformer station that was severely damaged by one of several tornadoes that hit the Ottawa area on Sept. 21.

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The planned outage is scheduled to begin at 4 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14 and could last for up to 30 minutes for some customers, Hydro Ottawa announced on Friday.

“This is a really big step in terms of returning some normalcy,” spokesperson Rebecca Hickey said.

READ MORE: Ottawa back to ‘near normal’ operations, opens community support centres

Hydro Ottawa says it has notified all customers that will be affected by Sunday’s outage via phone message. In a news release, the electricity distribution company said areas in 11 wards across the city will lose power, including:

  • Bay
  • College
  • Capital
  • Kitchissippi
  • Somerset
  • River
  • Knoxdale-Merivale
  • Barrhaven
  • Gloucester-South Nepean
  • Rideau-Goulbourn, and
  • Osgoode

Hickey warned the outage will cause many streets and neighbourhoods to go dark, which is why the utilities want to conduct the outage when the fewest people are out on the roads.

Sunday’s planned outage is one of several major repairs at the Merivale transmission station that have taken place over the last three weeks.

READ MORE: Timeline: Tornadoes, high winds cause heavy damage, power loss in National Capital Region

Hickey described the provincial grid in Ottawa’s west end, located near the intersection of Merivale and Hunt Club roads, as an important “entry gate” that feeds the city’s electricity system.

Tens of thousands of residents lost power in the aftermath of the Sept. 21 tornadoes. While the power utilities managed to restore electricity for everyone affected within a week, those customers were being fed by a neighbouring circuit, Hickey explained.

She said the repairs this weekend will help get affected customers off the backup system and help restore redundancy to the substation.

Hydro Ottawa and Hydro One said it will be several more months before the Merivale station is completely back to normal. A spokesperson for Hydro One said it’s too early to say whether the repairs will continue into 2019.

WATCH: Drone video shows extent of damage in Ottawa neighbourhood following tornado

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