3,000 Hydro Ottawa customers still without power 10 days after storm

·2 min read
Crews continue working to restore power on Ottawa's Merivale Road on Monday, nine days after the strong windstorm. (Blair Gable/Reuters - image credit)
Crews continue working to restore power on Ottawa's Merivale Road on Monday, nine days after the strong windstorm. (Blair Gable/Reuters - image credit)

Storm cleanup and power outages are still affecting many people's lives in Ottawa and some eastern Ontario communities, 10 days after the May 21 storm.

As of the Tuesday afternoon update, about 3,000 Hydro Ottawa customers still didn't have power, officials said. That's less than two per cent of the 180,000 customers who lost power when the derecho knocked over trees, hydro equipment and more, killing 11 people.

Mayor Jim Watson also said during the daily update that 2,500 requests for financial assistance have been submitted to the city by people who had to throw out food from their fridges and freezers due to lost power.

Watson said the program is currently focused on those with greatest need, not all homeowners.

The city said it's using existing social assistance policies tailored to the emergency to assess financial need and whether city programs can help replace essentials such as lost medications.

The ongoing repair work has cost Hydro Ottawa between $25 and 30 million so far, which will be covered by the province, according to CEO Bryce Conrad.

New complications found

Some customers may still have to wait days for power to be restored as crews discover new complications as they complete repairs on outages affecting smaller pockets of customers in Alta Vista, Manor Park and Overbrook, he said.

Conrad said crews have discovered damaged transformers, or have had to call in high cranes as they work to repair poles that have fallen in backyards.

On Tuesday morning, Hydro Ottawa's Joseph Muglia also told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning the bulk of the remaining customers should have power back by this coming Friday. That matches the utility's outage map.

Ottawa still has several roads closed by storm damage and traffic lights that need repair. Only a few of its schools and library branches are still closed as the city scales back on its special organic waste collection, and is able to resume maintenance such as cutting grass.

Another 6,500 or so Hydro One customers in eastern Ontario, mostly around Bancroft and Tweed, are also without power. It could be days and, in some cases, weeks until they can get it back.

Power has been restored to nearly everyone in western Quebec, according to Hydro-Québec, and the City of Gatineau has been able to reopen all municipal facilities.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting