Schools, parks close as high winds buffet the National Capital Region

A car sits on Old Montreal Road after a branch crashed through its windshield due to high winds on Friday. Paramedics say the driver suffered only minor injuries. Ottawa Paramedic Service

As winds blow through the city on Friday, knocking out power and knocking down trees, several schools and parks have closed for safety reasons.

According to the city’s public board, three school have closed due to power outages, Stonecrest Elementary School, West Carleton Secondary School and Greely Elementary schools have all elected to close.

The National Capital Commission (NCC) has also elected to close Gatineau Park due to the high winds.

In a release sent out Friday afternoon, the NCC says all lands, trails and parking lots are closed until further notice. The NCC added that it is worried the high winds could possibly create hazards with falling tree branches.

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The commission says maintenance crews are currently working to assess and secure the trails in the park. The NCC is urging everyone to “exercise caution and to respect and obey signage and barricades in place in the park.”

The NCC says it will provide an update when the park reopens.

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Environment Canada says wind gusts of up to 70 kilometres per hour can be expected throughout Friday afternoon but should subside to about 20 to 40 kilometres per hour in the evening.

The high winds in the city have already caused some small power outages, according to Hydro Ottawa, with several trees in the city being felled by the gusts.

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