Sharing an update from Hydro Ottawa:
Crews are continuing to work across the city making areas safe and addressing critical infrastructure including our hospitals, wastewater treatment centers, and the airport. To be clear, we are managing this from a whole of city perspective given that no single area of the City was unaffected in some manner. And to provide some context for you and your residents, this event is significantly worse than both the Ice Storm of 1998 and the tornadoes of 2018. The level of damage to our distribution system is simply beyond comprehension.
As we continue to patrol lines our crews continue to find damage making it difficult to simply start to re-energize our lines. The wide-spread nature of this outage persists with no single fix. There are approximately 140,000 customers that remain without power this evening. Our teams are working as quickly as possible with reinforcement crews coming in from our contractors and utility partners from as far away as the Greater Toronto Area, Kingston and New Brunswick. Crews will work around the clock until all power is restored to our city. Estimated times for restoration in the various wards continue to be difficult therefore we ask that you continue to help us message that this is a multi-day restoration effort.
To date, power has been restored to just over 40,000 customers, and I’m happy to report that as of 6:30 p.m today, the Queensway Carleton Hospital, the Royal Ottawa Hospital, the Robert O. Pickard Environmental Centre (ROPEC) water treatment plant and the Ottawa airport have power and are no longer reliant on generators. Hydro Ottawa is now focusing on assisting other area hospitals (Queensway Carleton Hospital’s remote site in Kanata and Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre), as well as other critical institutions.
At the height of the storm aftermath, approximately 180,000 customers were without power, which represents about half of our customer base. With its violent winds and thunderstorms the storm passed through the Ottawa region and caused significant damage to both the local and provincial electricity grids. At the height of the outages we were dealing with approximately 1,000 separate power outages across the service territory. Restoration efforts are expected to last into the week.
Our crews are working diligently to ensure public safety and restore power as quickly as possible. Largescale power outages are being restored first, followed by smaller ones, keeping safety as the number one priority. All planned work that was scheduled for this week has been cancelled and new planned work will not be scheduled until further notice unless it is due to an emergency situation.
Hydro Ottawa is continuing our concerted effort to communicate the importance of safety to our customers and the public, in addition to providing updates on our restoration efforts. If customers notice downed power lines, they need to stay at least 10 meters (the length of a school bus) away from the wires and from any objects that are in contact with the lines such as trees. The use of 911 should be reserved for situations where there is a risk to public safety, and life-threatening emergencies. If there is a downed power line with no injuries and no risk to public safety please inform us by calling 613-738-0188. They are also asked to keep a safe distance from crews as they work on energizing the power grid to ensure public safety.
Hydro Ottawa will continue to keep customers and the public advised of the situation through news media and on our social channels. To find out the current status, please follow Hydro Ottawa’s Twitter account @hydroottawa and visit the Outage Centre at www.hydroottawa.com/outages.
On behalf of Hydro Ottawa, thank you for your support, patience and understanding. We recognize that any power disruption is both frustrating and an inconvenience. Rest assured, our crews, with the assistance of colleagues from other Ontario utilities, as well as outside of the province support, will work around the clock until such time as all of the residents of Ottawa have had their power restored.
President and Chief Executive Officer/Président et chef de la direction