Peterborough declares state of emergency, more than 150,000 still without power after massive storm

·2 min read
Residents of Uxbridge, Ont., clean up after a severe storm caused significant property damage. Uxbridge, Clarence-Rockland, east of Ottawa, and Peterborough have declared states of emergency due to the extensive damage caused by Saturday's storm. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Residents of Uxbridge, Ont., clean up after a severe storm caused significant property damage. Uxbridge, Clarence-Rockland, east of Ottawa, and Peterborough have declared states of emergency due to the extensive damage caused by Saturday's storm. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

The city of Peterborough has declared a local state of emergency four days after a massive storm system, known as a derecho, swept through the province.

The town of Uxbridge, east of Toronto, and Clarence-Rockland, east of Ottawa, declared states of emergency on Saturday due to the extensive damage caused by the storm.

At least 10 people have died as a result of the storm, which generated winds of up to 195 km/h, reduced some buildings to rubble, uprooted tress, and downed power lines.

"We have set up centres throughout different municipal facilities where people can go and access charging stations for their devices or for their wheelchairs, as well as access for some help with food," said Peterborough mayor Diane Therrien in an interview with CBC News.

The city has also opened up facilities for people to access showers, said Therrien.

Tornado confirmed in Uxbridge

Meanwihile, Environment Canada says a tornado touched down in Uxbridge during the destructive storm.

The weather agency says Western University's Northern Tornadoes Project team, which it has a relationship with, confirmed an EF2 tornado hit Uxbridge around 1:15 p.m. on Saturday with a maximum wind speed of 195 km/h.

The same team confirmed that maximum winds of 190 km/h hit southern Ottawa.

Environment Canada says the tornado in Uxbridge was embedded in the the edge of a derecho -- a widespread windstorm associated with a line of thunderstorms -- that developed near Sarnia, Ont., and moved northeastward across the province.

Peter Kimbell, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the "vast majority" of the damage seen on Saturday was caused by the derecho.

"The damage started in Sarnia, went across the GTA, into eastern Ontario, including Ottawa and then southern Quebec," he said in an interview.

"All along that track, that very long track, the damage was extensive."

Kimbell said derechos are "fairly unusual" in Canada, with the last significant one in 1999.

"They're very rare," he said.

Christopher Mulligan/CBC
Christopher Mulligan/CBC

Work to restore power, school closures continue

More than 98,000 Hydro One customers are still without power and Hydro Ottawa says it is working on restoring power to approximately 65,000 customers.

In Ottawa, a local school board reopened schools that had power this morning, though dozens remain closed. The Ottawa Carleton District School Board had closed all schools on Tuesday as the city dealt with the aftermath of the storm.

In Durham Region, three schools remain closed due to the impact of the storm while five others reopened today after power was restored.

Toronto Hydro said approximately 30 of its customers remained without power as of Wednesday afternoon. Crews were dealing with 110,000 outages at peak-level on Saturday.

The the utility provider is sending 26 employees to Ottawa to help restore power there, according to a news release Wednesday.

"Sending crews to Ottawa will not delay any remaining restoration efforts in Toronto," the release said.

Toronto Hydro
Toronto Hydro

 

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