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Update on Southern Ontario ice storm recovery efforts

Thursday, December 26, 2013   by: Staff



Ontario is continuing to work around the clock to respond to the ice storm that is still affecting parts of the province. 
The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is coordinating resources across government and working closely with our partners to help restore power and services to all affected communities and keep people safe.

Power restoration

At the start of the ice storm, over 600,000 customers were without power. 

Progress has been made but significant work remains to be done to bring the remaining impacted customers back online.
Updates on power outages caused by the storm can be found on most local utility websites or at

Hydro utilities in impacted areas are working to get the power back on as soon as possible.
In addition, hydro crews from less affected areas of the province and utilities that have completed their restoration efforts are being brought in as they become available to help restore power as quickly as possible. 

Customers still without power:
Hydro One: 13,000 customers (120,000 at peak) 
  • Bolton: 857 customers 
  • Dundas: 1,498 customers 
  • Guelph: 4,944 customers 
  • Orangeville: 4,219 customers 
Toronto Hydro: 54,000 customers (300,000 at peak)

Other utilities:
  • Brampton (Hydro One Brampton): 1,000 customers 
  • Halton Hills Hydro: 2,500 customers 
  • York Region (Power Stream): 5,500 customers 
  • Durham Region (Veridian): 1,700 customers 
  • Milton Hydro: less than 1,000 customers 
**Please note that information comes from a variety of sources and is subject to frequent change as restoration efforts progress and weather develops. 

The Province is grateful to local electricity distribution companies across the province who have supported power restoration efforts in a number of different ways. 

Toronto Hydro is receiving support from Hydro Ottawa, EnWin, Enersource, Manitoba Hydro and Sault Ste. Marie PUC. 

Hydro One is receiving assistance from Woodstock Hydro, London Hydro, Tillsonburg Hydro, Festival Hydro, Sudbury Hydro, North Bay Hydro, Orangeville Hydro, Orillia Hydro, Midland Hydro, Haldimand Hydro, Norfolk Hydro, Peterborough PUC, Newmarket Hydro, Ottawa Hydro and Pembroke Hydro.

Health and wellness

Several warming centres are open to give people a respite from the cold - 12 in the City of Toronto, in addition to thirteen Toronto Police Service facilities that have community rooms available for use 24/7 as warming centres. 

Vaughan, Markham, Burlington, Hamilton, Brampton and the Town of Halton Hills are also operating warming centres.
Ontario has placed provincial buildings on standby in case there is an overflow from city warming and reception centres.
As a continued precautionary measure, the Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) was deployed on December 23 and remains on site at Sunnybrook Hospital with 30 low acuity beds providing 24-hour medical support to hospitals across the city. 
The team is working with Toronto EMS and Community Care Access Centres to assist with flow and patient management.
The Ontario government is also working with municipalities and volunteer organizations to coordinate visits to seniors and other vulnerable individuals to ensure they are safe.

In Toronto, all TTC service is running. 

Across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, GO Transit reports all trains running on schedule.
Staying safe
  • The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) constantly monitors evolving situations inside and outside of Ontario. It coordinates the government's response to major emergencies and is staffed at all times.
  • Steer clear of downed power lines. They could still be live and deadly even if they show no active danger signs.
  • Carbon monoxide goes undetected and is deadly. Do not heat your homes with devices that are designed for outdoor use, particularly barbecues and outdoor generators. If you are using an outdoor generator, ensure that the exhaust fumes do not enter your home.
  • Electrically connected smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms do not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-up, so make sure your home has battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Do not leave candles unattended and keep them away from children and loose fabrics. If possible, use f! lashlights instead of candles. 
  • Unplug all unnecessary appliances to protect them from potential power surges as hydro crews work to restore electricity. And make sure the stove is off. Leave on only select lights to let you know that you're back up and running.
  • Keep a few taps turned on to a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • You can make the most of your cellphone battery by turning down the screen brightness and turning off functions such as Bluetooth, WiFi and location services.
  • Take a moment to check on elderly neighbours and people with mobility issues.
  • Visually check food for spoilage, but do not taste it. Generally food will keep for 24 to 48 hours, as long as you keep your refrigerator door closed.
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saultbie25 12/26/2013 9:50:19 PM Report

Maybe it would get done faster if the Toronto citizens actually help with the clean up efforts instead of complaining that its taking too long!
mor 12/27/2013 6:23:17 AM Report

In response to saultbie25: really? You cannot really think that people in Toronto and area should be mucking around getting in the way with trained crews who are experts at doing their "jobs" of clean up and restoring the power outages. Hope you retract your thoughtless statement.
justsomeguy 12/27/2013 6:57:59 AM Report

Save your breath Mor - if 'Southern Ontario' or 'Toronto' is in the headline than lots of people in the Soo will find fault regardless.

We all know that Saultbie25 was out there after the floods this summer being the perfect help any never once complained.
Working Man 12/28/2013 7:30:48 PM Report

That's great.

Let us know when a storm like that hits the sault. Ok sootoday? Appreciate it.
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