Ottawa storm: Tens of thousands without power after severe storm

Hydro Ottawa warns it could be several days before power is fully restored to homes and businesses across Ottawa after a severe storm knocked out power to tens of thousands of customers and left a trail of damage in all wards of the city.

Ottawa police are asking motorists to avoid travel throughout the capital region today as the cleanup continues following the Saturday storm that saw 120 km/h hour winds like through the capital.

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

The city of Ottawa, Ottawa Police and Hydro Ottawa will provide an update on the storm at 4 pm will broadcast the media conference live.

Hydro Ottawa says there are 725 different outages across Ottawa affecting 176,000 customers, and more than 200 hydro poles have been broken.

“It’s a very complicated restoration,” Hydro Ottawa’s Joseph Muglia told Newstalk 580 CFRA’s “CFRA Live with Andrew Pinsent” Sunday morning.

Crews worked overnight and through the day to assess the damage to the distribution and transmission equipment and work on restoring power.

“It’s really about just trying to balance what we are able to turn back on versus what we haven’t assessed yet,” Muglia said about efforts to restore power.

“Because of the way it’s hit us, it’s a very complicated restoration and we’re going to be spending probably most of the day still doing damage assessment to understand what we’re really dealing with.”

Long lines have been reported at gas stations, fast food outlets and grocery stores in Ottawa and Gatineau. Several stations were sold out of gasoline.

Major Jim Watson asked people to be patient as Hydro Ottawa works to restore power.

“They’re working overnight and full crews out again today and tonight. They anticipate two to three days till everybody gets their power back,” Watson said.

“This was a massive storm that did a lot of damage to transmission lines.”

A look at the Hydro Ottawa outage map as of 11:30 am on Sunday.

A powerful storm moved across the national capital region at approximately 4 pm with winds of 120 km/h, leaving a trail of damaged homes, downed trees and broken hydro poles and wires. The city is reporting damaged property and fallen trees across the city, “particularly in the Navan, Stittsville, Merivale and Hunt Club areas.”

Three deaths have been reported in the Ottawa region following the storm. Ottawa police say a 59-year-old man died after being struck by a falling tree on a golf course on Golf Club Way in Ottawa’s west end. The investigation into death continues.

A 51-year-old woman drowned after her boat capsized on the Ottawa River near Masson-Angers, Que. In the Ottawa Valley, a 44-year-old man died after being struck by a falling tree in the Township of Greater Madawaska.

Watson says the city of Ottawa’s parks and forestry staff have been deployed across the city to clean up the damage.

“We’re working all out to get people’s power back.”

Hydro One is reporting more than 108,000 thousand customers are without power from Belleville to eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Valley.

“The initial damage being reported is significant and includes hundreds of broken poles, several downed transmission towers, fallen trees and broken limbs along with many downed power lines,” Hydro One said in a statement. The utility estimates it will take “multiple days” to restore power to all customers across Ontario.

Hydro One is reporting 12,000 customers without power in the Clarence-Rockland area and 5,300 customers in the dark in the Orleans and Cumberland area.


Hydro Quebec is reporting 95,000 customers are without power across the Outaouais, as of 9:30 am

Outages are being reported across Gatineau, including significant outages in Aylmer.

There is no word on when power will be restored.


Ottawa police are asking motorists to avoid travel if possible and be aware of debris and live wires on roads.

Several roads remain closed due to downed trees and hydro lines.

“Multiple road closures and infrastructure replacement will continue for days,” police said.

Police say it has “maintained enhanced operations” in the most storm-affected areas.

“Uniformed patrols were increased in most affected areas and will continue,” police said in an update Sunday morning.

Police say there were few incidents to report; however, there was a break and enter along Merivale Road.

“Officers responded to a break and enter in progress in the 1600 block of Merivale Rd. just before 11 pm and arrested an individual exiting a building,” police said.

Ottawa police received approximately 2,400 calls for service between 3 pm Saturday and 11 am on Sunday.

On Saturday, there were 2,807 calls to 911. On a typical Saturday, there are nearly 900 calls to 911.


The city of Ottawa is opening emergency reception centers for residents affected by Saturday’s severe storm.

The city says the CARDELREC Recreation Complex Goulbourn at 1500 Shea Road and the Carleton Heights Community Center on Apeldoorn Avenue will open at 10 am Sunday.

Coun. Glen Gower says the Kanata Leisure Center is also open for people. Coun. Laura Dudas says the Blackburn Community Hall on Glen Park is open on Sunday.

Plant Recreation Center at 930 Somerset Street West is also open.

The centers will provide washrooms, air conditioning and charging stations for residents affected by the storm.


Long lines were reported at gas stations, grocery stores and fast food outlets and convenience stores across Ottawa on Sunday, as people looked to stock up on supplies.

In Kanata, long lines formed at the Ultramar on Hazeldean Road, where motorists were filling up the gas tank and Jerrycans.

A long line for gas at the Ultamar on Hazeldean Road on Sunday. (Annette Goerner/CTV News Ottawa)

In western Quebec, there were long lineups at gas stations as motorists looked to fill up. CTV News Ottawa’s Joel Haslam said at the only gas station in Chelsea, Que., only one pump is open and its cash only.

Residents line up at Chelsea’s only gas station. One pump is open and it’s cash only. (Joel Haslam/CTV News Ottawa)

At College Square, several restaurants had long lines as people looked for coffee and food.


The National Capital Commission is asking people to avoid Gatineau Park after the storm caused damage across the park.

The NCC says all parkways, except the Philippe Lake Parkway, and the Pioneers and Pike Lake Trail are closed in Gatineau Park until further notice.

“We ask that users avoid Gatineau Park and the Greenbelt and remain patient while our teams secure and clear our sites,” the NCC said.


The National Capital Commission says all Greenbelt sectors are closed until further notice following the storm.

“Following the storm on Saturday, there are failed or dangerous trees throughout the region. NCC crews are working hard to assess and secure our sites,” the NCC said Saturday.

“We ask that users avoid Gatineau Park and the Greenbelt and remain patient while our teams secure and clear our sites.”


Advance voting locations are closed in several ridings in Ottawa and east of the capital on Sunday following the storm. Here is a look at which polling stations are closed on Sunday.


  • CARDELREC Recreation Center on Shea Road in Stittsville
  • Greely Community Center on Meadow Drive in Greely
  • Rideauview Community Center on Shoreline Drive in Gloucester


  • Kanata Recreation Complex on Charlie Rogers Place in Stittsville
  • West Carleton Community Complex on Carp Road in Kinburn


  • Walter Baker Sports Center on Malvern Drive


  • All polling stations are open

Ottawa Center

  • All polling stations are open

South Ottawa

  • All polling stations open

Ottawa Vanier

  • All polling stations open

Ottawa West–Nepean

  • Rum Kolbus Lakeside Center on Greenview Avenue


  • Hawkesbury Mall returning office
  • Maple Hall – Cumberland Lions Club on Old Montreal Road in Cumberland


Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project will deploy a team to southern Ottawa today to investigate whether a tornado hit the region.

“It is anticipated that more locations with potential tornado damage will be visited tomorrow, and possibly beyond.”

You can file a report to the Western University Northern Tornadoes Project.

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