2-3 more days to reconnect Ottawa, but progress being made: Hydro Ottawa

Ottawa city officials say it could take another two or three days to restore power, but Hydro Ottawa is reassuring the community that progress is being made.

Hydro Ottawa reported more than 74,000 still out of power as of 5 pm Tuesday, teams have restored power to 106,000 customers in the past three days.

“Restoration efforts will continue 24/7 until all residents are reconnected,” Hydro Ottawa’s Joseph Muglia told a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Muglia once again emphasized that the amount of damage done to Ottawa’s power grid was worse than the 1998 ice storm or the 2018 tornadoes.

“By comparison, 80 hydroelectric poles needed to be replaced after the tornadoes in 2018. For this event, we’re almost three times as damaging to poles. This level of infrastructure replacement would usually require about six months to complete. days,” he said.

Hydro Ottawa has temporarily removed its outage map, saying it does not reflect the current situation and the full extent of the teams’ progress “due to the number of individual and complex overlapping outages”.

“Given the number of separate events and the extent of damage to electrical equipment, this remains a multi-day restoration effort,” Hydro Ottawa said in a press release. “After critical institutions and emergency services, power restoration work is prioritized for outages that affect large neighborhoods with the most customers, followed by smaller areas.”

Muglia said that once Hydro Ottawa is in a position to start offering estimated restoration times for individual neighborhoods, it will.

Hydro teams from New Brunswick are on the ground helping Ottawa workers. Workers from Toronto and Kingston were also called.

By 5:30 pm, Hydro One was reporting nearly 49,000 customers in eastern Ontario that were still without power. Hydro Quebec said there were still 21,000 customers in the Outaouais region to be connected.

TRANSPORT

Approximately 40 roads are still impassable due to downed trees and hydroelectric lines, General Manager of Public Works Alain Gonthier told reporters Tuesday afternoon. Residents are being asked to stay off the roads if they can.

OC Transpo is reporting some diverted buses, but the transit system is largely intact.

ASSISTANCE TO RESIDENTS

Rest centers are open daily from 10 am to 10 pm for people who need electricity, water, food and shelter. You can see a complete list here. There are also bins installed at various locations for spoiled food, and the city is holding a green bin blitz to collect food waste. Many city services were closed on Tuesday.

SCHOOLS

English public and Catholic schools in Ottawa will reopen on Wednesday if they have power. There are more than 60 schools in the city that still do not have power and will remain closed. In addition, two schools were damaged by the storm and will be closed for an extended period of time. French councils plan to open schools that also have power.

HYDRO ONE

Three large towers along Highway 417 were torn down during Saturday’s storm. The west exit to Hunt Club Road is closed and will remain closed for the next few days. Hydro One, which supplies electricity to Ottawa and many parts of Ontario, is working to rebuild the nearly 50-meter-tall hydroelectric lines that carry power from Cornwall to the Ottawa Valley.

“This is the greatest extent of our transmission system damage. Most of the damage is in our distribution system, as well as other utilities in the province. So a very, very significant effort to restore power at this point,” says Jason Fitzsimmons, Director of Corporate Affairs and Director of Customer Service at Hydro One. “Importantly, the supply to Ottawa is not dependent on this line at the moment, but it is one of the 14 main lines to supply the city of Ottawa.”

At least nine people in Ontario were killed in Saturday’s destructive storm, including three in the Ottawa area.

Mayor Jim Watson said Tuesday morning that the cost of the cleanup will run into millions of dollars, including the cost of bringing in hundreds of staff over a long weekend, reimbursing other jurisdictions for their resources and running the rest centers.

“We don’t have an estimate at this point,” he told CTV Morning Live on Tuesday. “But we’re not in the same business during an emergency like this. We have to make sure we get as many resources as possible as quickly as possible to help people because their lives have been turned upside down.”

The City Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been cancelled.

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