Tens of thousands of people in Ottawa, eastern Ontario and western Quebec are without power for a second morning as the cleanup continues after Saturday’s powerful storm.
Hydro Ottawa reports that 164,250 customers are without power nearly 40 hours after the storm hit the capital, and hydroelectric officials are warning it could take three to four days to restore power to the city.
“This is an incredible event that we have been dealing with,” Joseph Muglia of Hydro Ottawa told CTV News Ottawa.
“Calculate the devastation wrought by both the city and the county, very, very difficult and very challenging just from a logistical perspective to figure out the best way to go about this.”
There are more than 550 unique failures in the city and more than 200 hydroelectric power plants have been damaged.
“There are 10 or 20 or 50 poles along a certain line that would be on the ground as a result of the storm and so these poles absolutely need to be replaced,” Muglia said.
Hydro Ottawa says crews are working around the clock to restore power and assess damage.
“We see this as a multi-day event, probably until the last part of this week before everything is restored,” Muglia said.
Hydro Ottawa reports that approximately 99,000 customers in eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Valley are without power.
Four Hydro One cell towers were topped by the storm in the Ottawa area.
“Hydro One crews are building a temporary bypass to restore power,” Hydro One said in a statement late Sunday night.
Crews from other parts of the province and contractors are deployed in eastern Ontario to aid efforts to restore electricity.
“The repairs are expected to take several days to restore power to all customers.”
Hydro Quebec reports 53,057 customers without power in the Outaouais, including significant power outages in the Aylmer and Chelsea areas.
Hydro Ottawa’s outage map on Monday at 6:25 AM. More than 164,000 customers are without power for two days after powerful storms hit Ottawa.
EMERGENCY RECEPTION CENTERS
The city of Ottawa says the emergency shelters will be open Monday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Here you will find an overview of the emergency centers.
SUPPORTING THE HIGHER LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT
Mayor Jim Watson says federal and provincial governments have supported the city of Ottawa and its cleanup efforts.
“I appreciate that both the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister have offered all the support we need, and I had a nice chat with the Prime Minister yesterday,” Watson said Monday.
The mayor told CFRA’s The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll that there is no need to declare a state of emergency at this time.
“There’s a lot of misinformation about a state of emergency. Of course we declared one for the pandemic because it allows us to go above the procurement law… we can just go out and buy, say, personal protective equipment and ventilators and what we also want to need very, very soon,” said Watson.
“Our city manager says it’s not necessary. I get a lot of people on Twitter: ‘Why didn’t you declare a state of emergency?’ It really wouldn’t work, but we do have the resources to do what we need to do.”
CLEANING CAN TAKE WEEKS
The city of Ottawa estimates it could take weeks to clear debris from streets and parks in the capital.
The powerful storm knocked down hundreds of debris, leaving a trail of debris through the city.
Ottawa Public Works Director General Alain Gonthier told reporters that forestry services and road teams are working to clear debris and fallen trees.
“That remains our priority now is to get the roads back open so that our emergency services can circulate and people can cross the communities,” Gonthier.
Gonthier says all roads will be reopened when it is safe to do so.
“These recovery efforts will continue even after power is restored and the lights are back on,” Gonthier said.
“As much as we are now focusing on opening the roads, it will take us a few weeks to get through all the cleanup efforts.”
The Gatineau Park Parkways will be open to cyclists after the storm, but hikers are asked not to use the trails until the cleanup is complete.
Several trees and branches were blown down during Saturday’s storm.
The following trails are closed in Gatineau Park:
- Pioneer trail
- Pink Lake Trail
- Champlain path
All sectors of the Greenbelt in Ottawa are closed while the cleanup continues.