Update from Alain Gonthier General Manager Public Works
We have now entered the second week of recovery efforts following last week’s significant weather event. While the Emergency Operations Centre has demobilized, Public Works remains in activated operations and restoration work continues across the City.
In just nine short days, 69% of the 3,447 service requests that were received by Forestry Services have been addressed. To help put things into perspective:
- 368 service requests were submitted over the same period last year,
- 2,387 service requests received during the entire 2021/2022 winter season, and
- 3,755 service requests were sent over the nine days that followed the derecho in May 2022.
Nonetheless, incredible strides have been made and efforts will continue well into the weeks ahead. This week teams have begun wood chipping operations while the focus remains with ensuring that our pathways, curbsides, and parks are made safe and free from hazards.
Free Woodchips Available Starting Tuesday, April 18
Some of the debris that’s been collected as part of recent recovery efforts has been turned into woodchips and will become available to residents – free of charge – starting Tuesday, April 18. While quantities last, woodchips will be available 24/7 at the following locations:
- Recreation facilities
- Navan Memorial Centre, 1295 Colonial Road
- Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue (Minto sports field parking lot, between Minto field and Hamilton baseball diamond)
- Sandy Hill Arena, 60 Mann Avenue (southwest corner, on the fenced-in side of the property)
- 2145 Roger Stevens Drive
- 4244 Rideau Valley Drive
- 1655 Maple Grove Road
Availability will be on a first come first serve basis. We are asking anyone coming by to please bring your own shovel, gloves, and container for easy transport and to abide by the safety instructions posted at each site.
Woodchips are produced as tree debris is picked up and so locations that run out may take some time before they can be replenished. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we continue working on restoring areas that have been impacted by the storm.
Safety is always our priority. When collecting your woodchips please be sure to wear gloves, appropriate footwear and to be aware of other individuals and vehicles at the yards or facilities.
Things to Note
- We are actively working on restoring properties across the City, work that will take weeks to complete. Until then, you can support our efforts by making use of the City’s Leaf and Yard Waste Program. Here’s how you can help:
- Tie branches with twine and into bundles of less than 1.2 m (4 ft.) in length and 60 cm (2 ft.) in width. Bundles or containers should weigh no more than 15 kg (33 lb.) and individual branches should be less than 10 cm (4 in.) in diameter.
- If you have a fire hydrant on your property, please ensure to keep a 1.5 metres perimeter around the hydrant to maintain access for Ottawa Fire Services in the event of an emergency.
- Until end of day Friday, April 21, larger tree cuttings, branches and brush may be brought to the City’s Trail Waste Facility free of charge. Standard rates will apply starting Saturday, April 22.
- Otherwise, these may wait, curbside, for chipping or collection by specialized City and contracted crews. There is no need to call 3-1-1 at this time.
- Those in urgent need to dispose of food waste have until end of day Saturday, April 15 to use the large bin located at the Trail Waste Facility available at no extra charge. Otherwise, residents can remove all packaging from food waste and leverage the weekly curbside green bin collection.
- The City is continuing its commitment to re-establishing the lost tree canopy by re-planting lost City trees. Residents who would like a tree replacement on the City’s right of way are encouraged to request it through the Trees in Trust program. Staff will continue to assess the loss of trees in City-owned parks before planning for their replacement.
Public Works will continue to patrol the City to scale the damage and impacts from last week’s event. As of today, Rockcliffe, Osgoode, Metcalfe, Alta Vista and the Urban Core were deemed to have been impacted the most and have since been prioritized. These are older neighbourhoods and with that comes many mature trees, and their cleanup will take time.
As damage continues to be assessed across the City, estimates in terms of how long it will take before we are able to get to specific neighbourhoods is difficult to predict. We will continue working safely and as efficiently as operationally possible to get into a neighbourhood near you.
We recognize that there is a lot of work that remains, and the encouragement you have shown Public Works since the start of this event has not gone unnoticed. Thank you for your unwavering support as we continue responding to yet another weather event.
In turn, I am committing to you now to release weekly updates on the status of our operations. Unless conditions and/or our operations change considerably, please expect our next update to follow on Friday, April 21.