Severe Weather Event Update

7 04 2023

from Councillor Theresa Kavanagh’s Bay Ward Bulletin:

My office received the following update from the City’s Public Works department. Moving forward, Forestry’s work will be a primary focus. Forestry Services has received over 1,600 requests for service since Wednesday. Reports are coming in from all over the city, but mature neighbourhoods with larger trees appear to have been highly affected.   Staff are triaging calls and prioritizing work to address downed trees and broken or hanging limbs that are blocking streets or that may otherwise pose a hazard to residents or property. Staff are also out checking parks and play structures for trees that may pose a risk.  Once hazards and streets are cleared, staff and contractors will address broken limbs, non-hazardous removals, re-inspections, pruning and brush/wood cleanup.  

By now, we know that this cleanup will be a multi-week effort requiring plenty of resources. We thank residents for their patience, and for staying safely away from precarious limbs and trees.  

Tree Removal
A reminder: Property owners do not need a permit to remove dead or hazardous trees on their private property where the tree is an immediate threat to public health and safety. Photos should be taken prior to removal of dead or hazardous trees in such cases to provide evidence of the condition of the tree and the reason for exemption.  

Waste and tree debris collection/disposal  
Just as we’re focused on trees, limbs and brush, we know residents are cleaning up, too. Tree cuttings, branches and brush may be placed at the curb for chipping or collection, separate from non-organic waste and tied with twine in bundles, if possible. Residents are reminded to not stack or lean branches, limbs or brush on trees, utility poles or other structures, and to keep curbside waste materials at least 1.5 metres away from fire hydrants to ensure access for our firefighters.   Again, residents are asked to be patient, as this chipping and/or collection by City crews and contracted services will take some time.  Starting tomorrow (Friday, April 7), tipping fees at the City’s landfill site at the Trail Waste Facility are being temporarily waived for residents with tree-cuttings, brush and branches due to the storm. The Trail Waste Facility is open Monday to Friday from 7 am to 6 pm. On Good Friday (Friday, April 7) and Easter Monday (Monday, April 10), it is open from 9 am to 5 pm, and it is also open on Saturday, April 15 from 8 am to 4 pm.  Due to the holiday, curbside waste collection continues today and Saturday. For those few streets where downed trees or wires prevent safe passage, we ask that residents keep their garbage, recycling and green bins at the curb for pick up tomorrow.  Public Works staff are monitoring the risks of food spoilage due to prolonged power outages and will advise of targeted collection if necessary. For now, residents are encouraged to use their green bin, and to consider public health guidance on food safety during an outage. 

Traffic signals  
The City is working closely with our utility partners to address traffic signals that remain without power. Thankfully, no signal poles are down or in need of replacement due to the weather event. Still, there are about 23 signals without power, and 30 being run on temporary generators in locations across the city.   Residents are reminded that a flashing or powerless traffic signal should be treated as a four-way stop.  

Roads, sidewalks and the winter cycling network 
Proactive measures and rising temperatures mean that our transportation network is in good condition today, and the Significant Weather Event (SWE) declaration is being lifted. Residents are reminded to continue exercising caution while using the transportation network due to fallen trees, branches and debris.  Regular road maintenance activities have resumed and concentrated street sweeping will proceed tomorrow, as scheduled. Crews continue to assist with fallen trees and debris that are blocking sidewalks, pathways and roads. Likewise, crews continue to monitor areas that are prone to localized flooding and drainage issues.

Outage reporting
At this time, Hydro Ottawa is not in a position to commit to specific neighbourhood restoration times. They are working with the City of Ottawa counterparts to ensure that those affected by extended power outages get the help they need.  Hydro crews are currently focused on restoring power to 20 large clusters that account for over 40,000 customers in the city who remain without power. Once these clusters are restored, Hydro will work on restoring power to a number of smaller areas and individual outages across the city. This continues to be an active multi-day event.

Hydro Ottawa notes that if you don’t see your outage on the outage map, please call their 24/7 outage line at 613-738-0188.

What to do if you see a downed powerline?
If you see a downed power line, call 911 immediately and then call Hydro Ottawa at 613 738-6400.   Reminder to residents that the City is receiving higher than average emails and call volumes.  If you have made a service request or are trying to reach 3-1-1 your patience is appreciated as operators are trying to navigate a variety of requests and concerns at this time.

Respite centres open for residents
If you are without power and would like access to electricity to charge your devices, use a washroom or warm up, the following locations are available in Bay Ward:

Michele Heights Community Centre – 2955 Michèle Dr 
Pinecrest Recreation Complex – 2250 Torquay Ave.   
Belltown Dome – 2915 Haughton Ave 
Dovercourt Community Centre – 411 Dovercourt Ave

Thank you!
My sincerest thanks go out to the Public Works and Hydro Ottawa professionals and all of our City partners who will be working through this holiday weekend to restore our community back to safety.  

Thank you to residents who have contacted my office to help keep us informed as we navigate through this and thank you to those who have reached out to check in on the wellbeing of neighbours.  

Theresa Kavanagh
Bay Ward Councillor | Conseillère quartier Baie
City of Ottawa | Ville d’Ottawa



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