Hydro Ottawa Says Full Power Restore Could Take Days

By Charlie Senack, Barrhaven Independent

A section of Barrhaven still continues to be without power more than 72 hours after a storm wreaked havoc in the community. 

Councillor Jan Harder’s office confirms 38 hydro poles fell on Woodroffe during the storm, with another 21 on Greenbank, and 12 on Merivale. Wind gusts of up to 120 kilometres an hour caused the damage, leaving a path of destruction behind. 

Hydro Ottawa won’t give a firm timeline on when full power might be restored, or when roadways might reopen to vehicle traffic. A rough estimate of two to four days has been given, though the situation is so severe, it’s unpredictable. 

The damage left behind from Saturday’s storm is worse than the ice storm of 1998 or the tornadoes which touched down in Ottawa in September 2018, says Hydro Ottawa. They’ve never needed to replace this many poles before, even during regular yearly maintenance. 

“The situation is complex with extensive damage to infrastructure across the city to both the provincial transmission system, our Hydro One supplier and our local system that belongs to us, Hydro Ottawa,” said Hydro Ottawa director of system operations, Joseph Muglia. 

When tornadoes touched down in Nepean just outside of Barrhaven in 2018, the community was left in the dark for a little over a day. The lights went back on when the provincial grid was up and running, but this time it’s the local grid which received the brunt of the damage. 

Councillor Carol Anne Meehan said she spoke to Hydro Ottawa, who said outages impacting Stonebridge residents are due to severe damage on the Merivale line. 

On Tuesday evening well over a dozen hydro crews were busy repairing the fallen hydro poles and wires on Woodroffe Avenue. Crews from as far as New Brunswick could be spotting helping with the restriction efforts. 

A truck carried in a large quantity of new wooden posts, with crews working to dig out the old ones. The technical and lengthy work will last at least a few days. 

Garbage bins to get rid of rotten food can be found at both the Walter Baker Centre and Minto Rec Centre. 

Debris from trees will not be picked up as part of the regular waste collection. The city says it’s a separate operation given the volume and size of the debris. They ask residents to leave it at the curb — not interfering with the sidewalk — and it will be picked up in due time. 

School Closures

Because of having no power, the Ottawa Catholic School Board has said 20 schools in the city will remain closed on Wednesday, including multiple in Barrhaven.

St. Mother Teresa High School, St. Luke’s Nepean, and St. Andrew Elementary will remain closed for at least one more day. 

If power outages are expected to last longer, the Catholic board says alternative arrangements would be made in the near future. 

“Should the power outages at schools continue, we will make arrangements for device distribution and options for remote learning in areas where Internet and power are available,” they said in a statement. 

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board also says a number of their schools will not be opened. The list can be found at: https://ocdsb.ca/news/update_on_schools_for_wednesday_may_25_2022/

And due to safety concerns, all school bus transportation in Ottawa will also be cancelled. 

Road Clossures

Leikin is closed between Merivale and Beckstead due to a fallen tree. 

Greenbank and Woodroffe are both closed between Fallowfield and Hunt Club due to fallen overhead wires. Police are directing traffic. The walking path however which runs linear to Woodroffe has reopened for both cyclists and pedestrians.