Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region


OTTAWA — Officials are warning people in the Ottawa area to brace for days without power in the wake of a tornado that ripped through the region yesterday afternoon.

They encouraged residents to stockpile food and water following the storm, which tore roofs off of homes, overturned cars and felled power lines in the Ottawa community of Dunrobin and in Gatineau, Que.

“It looked like something you’d see in a movie, or you’d see in tornado valley in Oklahoma,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, who had seen drone footage of the twister. “Nothing like this I’ve experienced in all my life living in Ottawa.”

More than 145,000 customers were without power in the city on Saturday morning as a result of damage that Hydro Ottawa CEO Bryce Conrad said was as bad or worse than that caused by a devastating ice storm in 1998.

Conrad said the outages come as a result of “cascading failure” of resources owned by provincial utility Hydro One.

Meantime, the Ottawa Hospital tweeted that five people were being treated for storm-related injuries — down from six last night — with two people in critical condition, one in serious condition and two others are stable.

One of those patients arrived this morning, the hospital noted.

Meanwhile, officials said firefighters are going door-to-door to determine whether structures are safe to re-enter.


The Canadian Press