An evening update for May 26 from Councillor Gower on storm clean-up situation

I spent most of this afternoon back on Henry Goulbourn Street and area, where many – but not all – residents are still without power. I checked in on Johnny Leroux, who is doing just fine. He’s 90 years old and still going strong.

Over the last two days my team and community volunteers have been delivering flyers and checking in on hundreds of residents on hard-hit streets, including those still without power. People are generally upbeat, but understandably impatient about the prolonged power outage, now going on six days.

It was good to see lots of city crews out helping to clean up branches again today. These machines operate like giant arcade claw games, picking up massive piles of branches and dropping them into the back of huge dump trucks. This clean-up will take weeks to complete.

In Ottawa there are still 43,000 customers without power, all over the city and in rural areas.  Today we are down to dozens of homes without power in Stittsville, instead of the thousands of homes that were still without power yesterday. More streets are coming online very few hours. A reminder: don’t use generators inside—not even in your garage!

The head of Hydro Ottawa said today that the storm was “beyond comparison”, with winds four to five times worse than tornadoes, and over 300 poles that still need to be replaced. He referenced 190 km/h winds, unlike anything anyone has ever seen in this area.

Here’s what the hydro map looks like today. Streets with power restored are marked in blue.

CARDELREC remains open as an emergency centre
City staff, the Red Cross, and the Salvation Army continue to help residents at CARDELREC (1500 Shea Road). Recharge your device, get a warm shower, grab some food or refreshments. If you need a refrigerator to store prescriptions, we can help. Open 10am-10pm on Friday. We’ll assess the need for the centre on a day-to-day basis.

Bell & Rogers
We have heard from you about continuing outages for Bell and Rogers customers. Although you may have power to your home, the “node” that your home is connected to may not. As of earlier this afternoon, Bell says 98% of their equipment in Stittsville is back online. They have several nodes that each serve hundreds of homes in the area, and they were struggling with power issues on getting one of the nodes back online. I talked to a Rogers technician on Henry Goulbourn who had a green extension cord connected from his truck to the Rogers node to give it temporary power until a generator could be delivered. That temporary solution was providing internet and phone service to 500 nearby homes.     (Some Bell and Rogers customers may need to reboot their modems or TV set-top boxes to re-establish a connection.)

Organic waste / spoiled food disposal
Through the green bin blitz, 33 tonnes of food waste were collected city-wide through curbside pickup, the equivalent of three school buses.

Regular waste pick-up went ahead today without any major issues and will continue tomorrow.

The large bins at CARDELREC (1500 Shea Road) will be here until Saturday. Only organic waste please (remove all food packaging, plastic, bottles, etc.). You can bag it in a garbage bag and grocery bag just like you would for your green bin.

The City’s landfill at the Trail Waste Facility (4475 Trail Road) is also offering extended hours to accommodate special collections and will waive tipping fees for residents with storm-related materials.

Please let me know what help you require.
My job is to understand what our community needs are right now, and to connect residents with City services that can help. The best way to reach me and my team is by email at glen.gower@ottawa.ca or by phone at 613-580-2476 (please leave a message if we cannot answer).

A reminder: please be kind to my staff, city staff, hydro staff, and everyone else who is working hard right now to help out.

Three big cheers to my amazing team – Amélie, Catherine, Jordan, Isobel, Tracy and Aline for all of their work this week.

More information / plus d’information:

We are providing updates in a number of ways:

I have been sharing these updates in English only to get them out as fast as possible. There is bilingual information available at Ottawa.ca. Les mis-à-jours sont disponibles à ottawa.ca.

Stay safe, and take care! – Councillor Glen


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