Tens of thousands remain without power in Ottawa region after destructive storm

Tens of thousands of people in the Ottawa region continue to be without power as crews work to fix outages caused by heavy storms that swept through Saturday afternoon.

The worst hit areas in the region are Hunt Club, Merivale, Navan and Stittsville.

Two emergency response centers in the city are opening Sunday.

The Carleton Heights Community Center on Apeldoorn Rd. and the CARDELREC Recreation Complex (Goulbourn) in Stittsville were expected to open at 10 am

The CARDELREC location did not open on time because of issues with a power generator, but doors to the facility opened within the hour.

“We suspect more will be open throughout the day. We ask that people go to Ottawa.ca for information or the City of Ottawa Twitter handle is giving out as much information as possible,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

Carleton Heights has phone chargers available, and the CARDELREC will offer power stations, as well as showers and snack machines.

More than 350,000 customers in the region were initially left without power Saturday, and it is expected to take days before power is fully restored.

“The challenge… is we receive our power from HydroOne, and if it’s not coming through the system because of downed lines, it will obviously have an impact on our customers, so we’re trying to get as many of our customers back as possible,” Watson said.

As of Sunday morning, Hydro Ottawa reported more than 176,500 customers were still without power.

“People are frustrated, they want their power back yesterday, but Hydro tells us it’s going to be two or three days for everyone to come back online,” the mayor said.

A motorist remains in their vehicle as they wait for crews to make sure they can leave safely, after power lines and utility poles came down onto their car during a major storm, on Merivale Road in Ottawa, on Saturday. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Emergency and repair crews worked throughout the night and into Sunday to try to restore power.

“The situation is complex, with extensive damage to our infrastructure across the city to both transmission and distribution systems, and at this time, we are not able to provide estimated restoration times,” Hydro Ottawa said in a statement.

“Crews have worked overnight and will continue to do so over the coming days. At this time, we believe this will be a multi-day restoration effort. Power will be restored initially to large scale outages, followed by smaller ones, keeping safety as the number one priority.”

On Saturday, more than 100,000 Hydro-Québec customers were in the dark in the Outaouais, as were more than 152,000 Hydro One customers across eastern Ontario.

In Ottawa, winds peaked at 120 km/hour during the storm, according to Environment Canada.

More details on deaths, injuries

In Ottawa, one person died in the city’s west end, Ottawa police said at a Saturday evening news conference. Details were being held until the family was notified, they said.

On Sunday morning, police reported on social media that the 59-year-old man died after a tree fell on him at the Canadian Golf and Country Club, near Stittsville. One other person was critically injured at a golf course.

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