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Significant Weather Event: Update

Apr 6, 2023 | News Updates

Roads and sidewalks

The Significant Weather Event (SWE) declared yesterday afternoon remains in effect. The City’s crews have been out nonstop treating sidewalks, roads and the winter cycling network. Where necessary, ice on sidewalks has been scraped down and treated. As evening falls, crews will start to make their way into residential neighborhoods to begin treating streets as required. This work will continue through the night.

Hydro Outages

Many parts of the City remain without power as of this morning. As of 8:00 AM, there are approximately 65,000 residents without power as a result of the freezing rain conditions. The situation continues to fluctuate and conditions are very poor as a result of bad road conditions, ice build up, and downed trees and power lines in many areas of the city.

Update from the CEO of Hydro Ottawa:

There are still large pockets of residents without power at this time, but there are also many smaller areas affected, which may not appear on our outage map, that will take longer for crews to reach. As always, priority is placed on repairs that pose serious safety hazards first, and restoring power to critical infrastructure such as emergency services, hospitals, water and sewage treatment plants, schools and larger neighbourhoods of customers, followed by smaller impacted areas.

I want to stress that the situation is still very much active, and our system is not stabilized. This is a multi-day restoration event and is slow-moving due to extremely poor conditions with many spots unsafe for our crews to operate due to falling trees and branches. The safety of our crews and the public is, and will remain, our top priority. That being said, our crews remain vigilant and focused on restoration efforts.

While our teams made impressive progress today, their efforts were significantly hampered by serious safety concerns. In addition to falling trees and branches, treacherous road conditions delayed our crews traversing across the city and at times thunder and lighting made it impossible for them to work safely at heights or on the ground.

Downed trees/branches

As of 7:30 AM, Forestry Services has received over 600 requests for service today – and counting. These include calls for broken limbs and downed trees due to ice accretion. Staff are triaging calls and prioritizing work to address trees and limbs that are blocking streets and those that may otherwise pose a hazard to residents or property. Once hazards and streets are cleared, staff and contractors will address broken limbs, non-hazardous removals, and brush/wood cleanup. Further, some trees may require reinspection and pruning work following the storm.

Residents can report fallen branches by calling 311 or reporting online by clicking here.

Traffic Signal Outages

We’re aware of multiple power outages throughout the City that may be affecting the operation of traffic signals. Residents are reminded that a traffic signal without power should be treated as a four-way stop.

Using a generator?

During the Derecho storm Ottawa Fire Services responded to numerous calls for Carbon Monoxide inside homes caused by generators. Here are a few important reminders if your power is out and you are using a generator: