Hydro Ottawa ‘still set up for most customers’ to have power tonight

Hydro Ottawa hopes to restore power to “most” homes and businesses tonight, nearly a week after a devastating storm hit the capital with wind gusts of up to 120mph.

“We’re still ready for most of our customers to come back tonight,” Hydro Ottawa system operations director Joseph Muglia told CTV Morning Live.

However, the utility is warning that there is “significant work” to be done in Parkwood Hills, a portion of Anderson Road and Bells Corners that will delay restoration efforts.

As of Friday morning, 33,000 Hydro Ottawa customers remain without power in every neighborhood of the city. Since the storm hit last Saturday afternoon, hydroelectric crews have restored power to 149,000 customers.

“We will continue to work through the night, 24/7, until everyone is back,” Muglia said.

Muglia does not expect today’s predicted rain to slow down restoration efforts.

“Our crews and all the extended resources that we’ve had to help us with this are more than capable of working in inclement weather,” Muglia said. “Rain usually doesn’t slow us down, there would have to be a lot of rain and particularly strong winds, but our people are trained.”

Teams from Toronto, Kingston, Cornwall and London have been working with Hydro Ottawa to repair the damage and restore power.

In a letter to council Thursday night, Hydro Ottawa President and CEO Bryce Conrad said “the level of damage is greater than we previously anticipated,” which could slow restoration efforts.

“Due to the level of damage and impending weather that is expected (Friday), there may be some communities where we may not be able to meet that timeline,” Conrad wrote. “Also, within the communities that are reactivated, there will be some customer pockets that are not yet working, as a result of additional damage to that circuit, tree contacts, or other debris.”

Hydro Ottawa says “significant work” remains in three specific neighborhoods: Parkwood Hills, a portion of Anderson Road and Bells Corners.

“We’re converging on some of these neighborhoods that need a little bit of extra care, extra resources just because of the damage, because of a lot of brush and trees that were in the infrastructure,” Conrad said.

Count Keith Egli said he followed up with Hydro Ottawa to find out about the damage in Parkwood Hills.

“Unfortunately, it means Parkwood Hills, General Burns and Fisher Heights. Communities will not receive electricity today,” Egli said on Twitter.

Conrad warns that there will still be areas in the neighborhood without power once “most of our power system” is energized.

“Most of our power system is the catchphrase…think of it like our own highway network. We’ll have the great arterial roads open for power and we’ll have electricity for most if not all of our communities.” Conrad said.

“But we will have roads and dead ends here and there where power is interrupted due to trees or damage to conductors or other debris.”

Hydro Ottawa was able to energize a “large number” of circuits on Thursday, according to Conrad. Areas include:

  • Bel Air Heights
  • Stream
  • richmond
  • Parts of Alta Vista
  • Colonnade and Prince of Wales (near Colonnade)
  • Merivale Road (south of Hunt Club, north of Slack Road, and west of Merivale)

And now the Hydro Ottawa update, courtesy of CEO Bryce Conrad. pic.twitter.com/PcWAuVrPal

—Scott Moffatt (@ScottMoffatt21)
May 27, 2022

In eastern Ontario, 12,263 Hydro One customers remained without power as of Thursday night.

Hydro Quebec says 7,988 customers remain without power in the Outaouais.

SCHOOLS

Some Ottawa schools will be closed for a fourth day due to power outages in buildings.

A full list of schools is available here.

The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority advises parents, guardians and students to check the school bus plans before heading out the door.

CLEANING IN OTTAWA

The city of Ottawa says heavy equipment will be used in the four worst-affected areas to help with cleanup operations. The four most affected areas are Cumberland, Knoxdale-Merivale, River Ward and Stittsville.

Public Works General Manager Alain Gonthier says cleanup operations “of varying scale” will take place in all four areas, especially around the Pineglen/Knoxdale-Merivale area.

“Just because of the level of damage that area has taken,” Gonthier said.

The city says public works personnel will focus on removing branches, trees and debris throughout the city.

PRICE TAG FOR THE STORM

Both the city of Ottawa and Hydro Ottawa say it is too early to say how much the storm will cost.

City Manager Steve Kanellakos says the city is tracking all costs, but it’s “too early” to capture all overtime costs for city staff, police and first responders.

Mayor Jim Watson said earlier this week that Premier Doug Ford has promised the city that the Ontario government will cover the cost of the storm.

ORGANIC WASTE

The city of Ottawa says bins will remain in place for organic waste at 15 locations through Saturday.

The locations are:

  • CARDELREC Goulbourn Recreation Complex at 1500 Shea Rd.
  • Navan Memorial Center at 1295 Colonial Rd.
  • Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Center at 3320 Paul Anka Dr.
  • Howard Darwin Centennial Arena at 1765 Merivale Rd.
  • Minto Recreation Complex at 3500 Cambrian Rd.
  • Walter Baker Sports Center at 100 Malvern Dr.
  • Osgoode Community Center at 5660 Osgoode Main St.
  • Orleans Library at 1705 Orleans Blvd.
  • Lincoln Heights parking lot near Richmond Road and Croydon Ave.
  • Greely Community Center at 1448 Meadow Dr.
  • North Gower Customer Service Center at 2155 Roger Stevens Dr.
  • Richmond Arena at 6095 Perth St.
  • Constance Bay Community Center at 262 Len Purcell Dr.
  • Sawmill Creek Community Center at 3350 D’aoust Ave.
  • Diamond Jubilee Park at 4008 Kelly Farm Dr.

The green container blitz will also end on Saturday.

The city estimates that 33 tons of organic waste was collected during the “bombing” of green bins in neighborhoods this week.

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