What you need to know about storm cleanup and where to get help

·9 min read
Hydro crews work around a transmission tower on the ground near Highway 417 and Hunt Club Road. (Jean Delisle/CBC - image credit)
Hydro crews work around a transmission tower on the ground near Highway 417 and Hunt Club Road. (Jean Delisle/CBC - image credit)

More than 22,000 customers in eastern Ontario and western Quebec are still without power Sunday morning, one week after a destructive, fatal windstorm swept through the area.

More than 350,000 customers in the region initially lost power last Saturday. CBC's count was about 150,000 on Tuesday morning, 115,000 on Wednesday morning, 90,000 on Thursday morning, 63,000 on Friday afternoon and 37,000 customers on Saturday afternoon.

As of Sunday morning, Hydro Ottawa reported that about 11,000 customers were still without power. Hydro-Quebec reported Sunday morning that more than 1,200 customers were without power in the Outaouais.

Hydro One, meanwhile, reported Sunday morning that more than 10,000 customers were without power around Ottawa.

Hydro Ottawa officials had initially hoped to restore power to most residents by Friday, but poor weather over the course of the week led to delays.

WATCH | Some of the trail of damage from Saturday's 'derecho': 

Emergency centres

Some communities are opening up emergency centres for people who are facing days without power and need help.

Ottawa now has 20 such centres. All have been open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

All are accessible, the city says, with washrooms and power to charge devices. These four offer showers, food and access to help from the Red Cross:

  • CARDELREC Recreation Complex Goulbourn at 1500 Shea Rd.

  • Howard Darwin Centennial Arena at 1765 Merivale Rd.

  • Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre at 3320 Paul Anka Dr.

  • St-Laurent Complex at 525 Côté St.

The next group offers showers:

  • Bernard-Grandmaître Arena at 309 McArthur Rd.

  • Canterbury Recreation Complex at 2185 Arch St.

  • François Dupuis Recreation Centre at 2263 Portobello Blvd.

  • Jim Durrell Recreation Centre at 1265 Walkley Rd.

  • J.A. Dulude Arena at 941 Clyde Ave.

  • Kanata Leisure Centre at 70 Aird Pl.

  • Navan Memorial Centre at 1295 Colonial Rd.

  • Plant Recreation Centre at 930 Somerset St. W.

  • R.J. Kennedy Arena at 1115 Dunning Rd.

  • Richmond Arena at 6095 Perth St.

  • Walter Baker Sports Centre at 100 Malvern Dr.

  • W. Erskine Johnston Arena at 3832 Carp Rd.

The final ones simply offer washrooms and power to charge electronics:

  • Ben Franklin Place at 101 Centrepointe Dr.

  • Carleton Heights Community Centre at 1665 Apeldoorn Ave.

  • Greely Community Centre at 1448 Meadow Dr.

  • Kenmore Community Centre at 3242 York's Corners Rd.

Thirteen of the 20 have Wi-Fi.

Bottled water is available at these locations for people who have lost access to drinking water:

  • The Greely Community Centre at 1448 Meadow Dr.

  • The Howard Darwin Centennial Arena.

  • The Navan Memorial Centre.

  • The Orléans library at 1705 Orléans Blvd.

  • The Osgoode Community Centre at 5662 Osgoode Main St.

  • The Richmond Arena.

  • The W. Erskine Johnson Arena.

The François Dupuis Recreation Centre and the Howard Darwin Centennial Arena will also offer support to residents with medical oxygen needs.

City councillors may have information on other places in their wards where people can get help. Ottawa has set up a page with information on its storm response.

Chelsea has opened the Meredith Centre at 23 chemin Cecil for support. It has showers, water, charging and coffee 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Chelsea library at 100 chemin Old Chelsea has Wi-Fi and power during regular hours, which is 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday.

Gatineau is offering showers and power at three aquatic centres. Its libraries can also be used to charge devices. Pavillon Robert-MiddlemissCentre de plein air du Lac-Leamy and Centre de service de Buckingham are closed.

Greater Madawaska has showers at the Calabogie Community Hall and Renfrew Ma-te-way Activity Centre. There are charging stations at that hall and the Denbigh/Griffith Lions Hall. Brush and tree debris should be taken to the Reiche Gravel Pit at 5911 Matawatchan Rd.

WATCH | Farms, communities in rural Ottawa area particularly battered:

Perth invites people, including from neighbouring communities, to refill water containers 24 hours a day at its water treatment plant at 15 Sunset Blvd.

Showers are available at the Last Duel Campground from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and at the indoor pool at 3 Sunset Blvd. from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. Friday free of charge.

Prescott and Russell counties lists community resources across its area.

Many businesses and community spaces are also offering their buildings with power for the use of people who have none.

CBC
CBC

Travel

On Sunday morning, Ottawa still listed several road closures due to fallen wires or trees. They include the westbound ramps connecting Highway 417 and Hunt Club Road, where there are expected to be closures for weeks.

The city is asking people to stay off the roads if possible to help with cleaning up and the emergency response.

Power outages still left about 75 traffic lights offline Wednesday, according to the city. The mayor has reiterated during news conferences that drivers should be courteous and treat these intersections as four-way stops.

OC Transpo lists several routes with detours because of the damage.

Some roads in Chelsea are partially or fully blocked by debris.

The National Capital Commission has a list of trails and parkways closed by fallen trees and debris. It includes all of its roads and paths in Ottawa's Greenbelt and asks people to avoid that area and Gatineau Park for the time being.

Brian Morris/CBC
Brian Morris/CBC

Stores

The situation depends on individual shops.

This includes some gas stations found to be running low on fuel and others with fuel that have long lines.

Schools

Schools with power are reopening, while those without will remain closed.

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) still had 20 schools closed Friday.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) said its two virtual schools returned Thursday. Twelve schools without power are still closed Friday.

Among those schools is St. Monica, which suffered significant roof damage. But the school board announced Friday that it can now reopen to students the day after its power is restored.

"The roof is secured, covered and inspected by engineers. The building itself is deemed safe for students and staff to return. Water damage is contained to the gym and two classrooms. That school section will be cordoned off for the remainder of the school year" to allow for repairs, the OCSB wrote in a media release issued Friday afternoon.

The French Catholic school board in eastern Ontario, Conseil des écoles catholiques Centre-Est (CECCE), informed parents that three schools remained closed Thursday. An update was not available on the board's website Friday morning.

The French public school board in eastern Ontario, Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO), said three schools remained closed Friday.

Algonquin College's Ottawa campus doesn't have power from the electrical grid and has cancelled all classes this week. Its Pembroke and Perth campuses are open.

Food waste

With power outages causing food to spoil, the city is carrying out a green bin "collection blitz" in some areas of the city over the next few days.

Residents in Knoxdale-Merivale, Stittsville, Cumberland and River wards can set bins out for collection and they will be picked up likely on Tuesday or Wednesday. If they aren't collected, take them from the curb overnight and try again in the morning.

The priority areas include most of Stittsville, any areas of Knoxdale-Merivale that have lost power, the Riverside Park and Mooney's Bay areas in River ward and the rural communities of Cumberland, Navan and Sarsfield.

Only organic material should be disposed of, not food packaging.

WATCH | The problem of food waste with outages this long: 

Large organic waste bins for food waste are available at:

  • CARDELREC Recreation Complex Goulbourn.

  • Constance Bay Community Centre at 262 Len Purcell Dr.

  • Diamond Jubilee Park at 4008 Kelly Farm Dr.

  • Greely Communite Centre.

  • Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre.

  • Howard Darwin Centennial Arena.

  • Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre at 2525 Carling Ave.

  • Minto Recreation Complex at 3500 Cambrian Rd.

  • Navan Memorial Centre.

  • North Gower Client Service Centre at 2155 Roger Stevens Dr.

  • Osgoode Community Centre.

  • Orléans library.

  • Richmond Arena.

  • Sawmill Creek Community Centre at 3350 D'aoust Ave.

  • Walter Baker Sports Centre.

Regular curbside pickup is continuing in Ottawa.

Clarence-Rockland is telling people with spoiled food they can dispose of it at the landfill on Lalonde Road in Bourget between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. until further notice, rather than put it at the curb. They can also bring tree debris there.

Storm debris

Ottawa residents with debris from fallen trees can set it out at the curb and it will be collected, although it may take a few weeks. It has advice for specific types of debris, including trees and stumps.

"Photos should be taken before removal to provide evidence of the condition of the tree should there by future inquiries," the city says.

The city is also waiving tipping fees at the Trail Road landfill for storm-related damage. The landfill's hours are also being extended, officials said Tuesday.

WATCH | Why what hit Ottawa was worse than the ice storm or 2018 tornadoes: 

Gatineau asks residents to put tree debris out during bulky wood collection day.

Other services

Emergency aid for food and potentially medical expenses may be available in Ottawa. They can go online or call 311. Ontario Works recipients can call their case worker.

People in Gatineau in need of food are asked to call Moisson Outaouais at 819-669-2000, extension 203.

Renfrew County is offering relief loans to qualifying small businesses.

Only Ottawa's Borden Farm and Huron ELC municipal child-care centres are closed Friday.

More of Ottawa's client service centres are open. Most Ottawa Public Library branches are open again, with four remaining closed Friday: Centennial, Emerald Plaza, Richmond and Rockcliffe Park.

Four Ottawa Public Health (OPH) COVID-19 vaccine clinics are closed Friday.

Ottawa residents are asked to only call 311 if it is urgent. OPH says people can call 613-580-6744 for information on food safety and mental health help.

That city says because of the focus on storm response, other less-urgent operations may be delayed, like park waste collection, grass mowing and sidewalk repair. People in parks are asked to consider bringing waste home.

Canada Post warns service may be disrupted in the storm's aftermath. Elections Ontario asks people looking for advance poll information to check online or call 1-888-668-8683 to find one that's open.

Have an important closure or support centre we missed? Please send us an email.

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