Update on severe weather event efforts
Saturday’s severe weather event is unprecedented to anything our community has experienced and has had a tremendous impact across the City with fallen trees, property damage, power outages, injuries and, sadly, fatalities. Our thoughts are with all our members of the community who have been impacted by the effects of this significant storm.
City crews have been working around-the-clock to respond to calls, coordinate services, re-open roadways, restore traffic infrastructure, clean up debris and provide supports and resources to those without power.
There have been tremendous logistical challenges associated with the restoration operations, which are expected to continue throughout the next several days. Immediate efforts are focused on continuing to help the most impacted communities and neighbourhoods by expanding debris, organics and waste removal and maintaining emergency reception centres across the city to support those without power.
Hydro Ottawa Crews are also continuing to work around the clock to address dangerous and life-threatening situations and restore power. Large scale power outages are being restored first, followed by smaller ones, keeping safety the number one priority. They are working the outage from a City-wide perspective focusing on critical infrastructure and facilities necessary for public health and safety. Restoration efforts are also dependent on our counterparts at Hydro One, the provincial transmission company, and replacing downed poles that are part of the local distribution network. Hydro One is mobilizing crews from other parts of the province along with employees from other utilities and contractors to descend on the hardest hit areas of central and eastern Ontario to assist with restoration efforts. Restoration efforts are expected to continue for several days before power is restored to all customers.
Hydro Ottawa’s distribution system as well as the transmission system that brings electricity to the City of Ottawa are part of an extremely complex grid. Widespread damage to that grid, which is what has occurred, will often result in power being energized (restored or never lost) for one street, while the next street remains without power. This is because neighbours may not be connected to the distribution system from the same power line, or ‘feeder.’
If you see a downed power line, call 911 immediately and then call Hydro Ottawa at 613 738-6400. To help ensure your safety, always stay at least 10 meters (33 feet) away from downed overhead power lines and from any objects that the lines are in contact with. For more information on downed power lines and what to do please visit the Hydro Ottawa web site here.
The City has opened several Emergency Reception Centres where residents can access power and services. For a list of these locations please visit here.
Ottawa residents are asked to remain patient as workers respond to calls on a priority basis. Please only call 3-1-1 for urgent issues that are a threat to public safety. If you are experiencing a life-threatening issue, contact 911.
Over the past two and a half days many people will be experiencing food spoilage. Please discard of any thawed hazardous food items that have remained at room temperature for 2 or more hours. For more information about food safety during a power failure please visit Ottawa Public Health web site here. Remember the rule, “When in doubt throw it out!”
The City is putting together a plan for the collection and removal of spoiled food. I will provide residents with full details once they have been established. With regards to tree debris you can place this curbside on your property. Small pieces will be picked up with your green bin this week, larger pieces will eventually be picked up by the City.
Financial assistance and support for individuals who need help during this time can contact 311. Please note that operators are very busy dealing with many calls and will respond to those on hold as soon as possible.
The Ottawa Carleton District School Board has announced that all elementary and secondary schools will be closed on Tuesday, and there will be no virtual learning. The board is working towards opening the schools on Wednesday.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board says all elementary and secondary schools will be closed on Tuesday, and there will be no virtual learning. Schools will reopen on Wednesday.
I have been and continue to cycle throughout the Bay Ward community touching base with residents and checking in on those most vulnerable. Please contact my office if you have any questions or require assistance.
Thank you to the community for your patience, and thank you to those who are continuing to reach out to help others where possible, as we work together to get through this.
Events like this can affect everyone differently. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, please reach out and speak to someone. For mental health services and supports, please visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/StressfulEvents