Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Elias Hubbard
September 24, 2018

He has compared the damage to the city's power grid as being on the magnitude of the debilitating ice storm of 1998.

The human toll was also significant.

The tornado was one of two to hit Ottawa as a line of severe storms moved through during the afternoon, leaving at least four people with serious injuries.

Finally, I want to thank my fellow caucus members Merrilee Fullerton, Lisa MacLeod, Steve Clark, Goldie Ghamari and Jeremy Roberts for keeping in touch with me around the clock, and giving me a real sense of what the people of the Ottawa region are facing as the recovery effort gets underway.

In areas lashed by the tornado, scenes of the havoc were everywhere.

No one was home when it hit.

Ford praised first responders for their work and noted the resilience of local residents, many of whom were seeing the damage to their properties for the first time.

Officials warned people not to re-enter their homes until they had been deemed safe as firefighters went door-to-door to determine whether structures were still sound. In Dunrobin, authorities said many buildings that had emerged from the tornado partially intact would likely have to be torn down.

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out, but as of Sunday, Hydro Ottawa and Hydro Quebec reported the number had dropped to 70,000 in the Ottawa area and 5,600 in the Outaouais region, which encompasses Gatineau.

Peter Kimbell, a meteorologist with the national weather agency, said the tornado overturned cars on Highway 50 in Gatineau and caused extensive damage to houses in Dunrobin. The storm took away about 400 megawatts from the supply.

"That's what we're working with - that's why we are dark", he said, listing off communities around the western, southern and some central parts of Ottawa.

Environment Canada issued a warning for much of the eastern Ontario region ahead of the tornado that saw high winds level homes and flip vehicles.

This fast-moving squall line, it said, was located from eight kilometres northeast of Gatineau to seven kilometres northwest of Althorpe, and moving east at 80 kilometres per hour.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford toured Dunrobin on Sunday and pledged the province's full support to Ottawa residents recovering from Friday's tornadoes as he met with some of those hardest hit.

"We're putting the resources in, we are going to get it done", he told a sobbing woman seeking refuge at the school.

"We have all available crews out in the field", the utility company said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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