OTTAWA – On Saturday, May 21, Hydro Ottawa’s distribution system was significantly impacted by high winds, fallen trees and damaged hydro poles after a devastating storm ripped through the province and our service territory.
Hydro Ottawa initiated emergency response procedures immediately following the storm, with crews deployed across the city. At this time there are still more than 650 different outages affecting more than 170,000 customers.
Given the number of separate events and the extent of damage to electrical equipment, this will be a multi-day restoration effort with our crews working around the clock to restore power to all affected. Additional support from our contractors and outside-of-province utility support have joined the restoration efforts.
This afternoon, Hydro Ottawa successfully confirmed that the Robert O. Pickard Environmental Centre (ROPEC) water treatment plant, the Queensway Carleton Hospital and the Royal Ottawa Hospital have power and are no longer reliant on generators. Progress is being made to other area hospitals, the airport, and other critical institutions. In total, nearly 10,000 customers have been restored thus far.
Power restoration work will then be prioritized to outages affecting large neighbourhoods with the largest number of customers, followed by smaller areas, keeping safety as the number one priority.
Hydro Ottawa is working with the City of Ottawa to ensure that those affected by extended power outages get the help they need. Residents who may need assistance are being asked to call 3-1-1. The City has opened three emergency reception centres. Visit the City of Ottawa’s Emergency Preparedness page for an expanded list as more centres are opened.
We’d like to thank all our first responders and essential workers who are ensuring public safety while working throughout the night and over the coming days to get power back and people to safety. Remember, if you see them working, please keep a safe distance away.
If customers notice downed power lines, stay at least 10 metres away (the length of a school bus) from the wires and from any objects that are in contact with the lines such as trees. Please reserve the use of 911 to 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 report it via the police non-emergency number at 613 236-1222 or by calling us at 613 738-0188.
Hydro Ottawa will continue to keep customers and the public advised of the situation via the news media, our website and on our social channels.
Manager, Media and Public Affairs