One dead after heavy storm rips through Ottawa

One person has been killed and at least two others have been seriously injured after a powerful thunderstorm that swept through Ottawa Saturday afternoon.

The storm with gusts of up to 120 km/h swept across the city, knocking down trees and power lines and damaging houses and other buildings.

Ottawa Police Service insp. Debbie Palmer told reporters Saturday night that a person in the western end of the city had died, but said no other details would be provided as officials notified the family.

Ottawa’s paramedic chief Pierre Poirier told reporters that two people had been seriously injured on golf courses and one person had been seriously injured in a car accident.

“We reached a level 0 during the event, but we are not there anymore,” Poirier said, referring to a state where there are no immediately available ambulances.

Ottawa Fire Chief Paul Hutt said the fire service has responded to 500 calls for fallen trees, damaged buildings, fires and downed power lines.

Mayor Jim Watson said the storm hit the entire city.

“We know the storm has hit every corner of our city,” he said. “Many residents suffer from power outages. City personnel have been deployed and are responding. I ask everyone to be patient.”

The city’s emergency center has been activated to deal with the effects of the storm.

Ottawa Police say yes deploy additional officers to the hardest-hit areas of the city to help maintain public safety.


City officials say it could take several days to clean up all the damage.

Kim Ayotte, general manager of the city’s emergency and protection services, said this storm, while brief, had a huge impact.

“The huge area that has been affected is like nothing I have seen in my memory,” he said. “We expect the storm to clear up for several days.”

Joseph Muglia, director of systems management and grid automation for Hydro Ottawa, echoed Ayotte’s comments.

“We haven’t had a blow like this since the tornadoes,” he said. “This is different because this is so widespread in the city.”

The Hydro Ottawa outage map shows scattered outages across Ottawa. Muglia said about half of Hydro Ottawa’s customer base has been affected.

“Not only do we have problems with the local distribution, we have problems with the provincial supplier, a loss of supply to the city,” he said.

Hydro One also reports that tens of thousands of customers in eastern Ontario are without power.

Across the river, Hydro Quebec reported 121,000 customers without power in the Outaouais region.

“More than likely this will be a multi-day event,” Muglia said. “We repair where possible, but that depends on the provincial supplier and the replacement of downed poles. This is a challenging event.”

Muglia said the crew would work through the night, although most efforts would be made during the day, when it is safer.


The storm ripped out trees by the roots as it blew over the city. A gust of 120 km/h was recorded at the Ottawa airport at 3:30 p.m. The weather update at 4 p.m. included a wind gust of 113 km/h. Ottawa police had asked residents to shelter on site when the storm hit.

Ottawa police said Saturday night that a barn on the west side was destroyed and many people were trapped in vehicles because of power lines on roads in the city, including 40 drivers on Woodroffe Avenue. Police responded to gas leaks on St. Joseph Boulevard and Presland Road. Lost power lines on Highway 174 near Trim Road forced police to close eastbound lanes to traffic.

A tree fell on a person on a golf course, Poirier said, adding that this person was one of two people seriously injured.

Trees also fell on cars and buildings across the region.

Watson said he had heard from many city councilors that residents were helping each other after the storm.

“I appreciate the approach of a good neighbor,” he said.

Ayotte also encouraged residents to check in with neighbors and loved ones if it was safe to do so.

Due to disruptions, the O-Train Line 1 LRT is offline. Transit customers should take R1 buses instead. General Director of Transit Services Renée Amilcar told reporters that OC Transpo was working with Hydro Ottawa to restore service on the O-Train as soon as possible.

Severe thunderstorm warning for Ottawa ended around 4:40 PM and a severe thunderstorm ended at 4:50 PM

Weather radar showed a storm with heavy rain moving from Michigan to southern Ontario late Saturday morning, passing through London, Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto, hitting Ottawa around 3:30 p.m. By 4:30 p.m., the strongest part of the storm had moved northeast into Quebec.

The storm claimed at least two lives in southern Ontario.


After the storm cleared the region, temperatures dropped 12 degrees from 30 C to 18 C, only to rise a few degrees again later in the afternoon.

The forecast for Ottawa includes clouds at night, with a chance of showers and a chance of thunderstorms with a minimum of 14 C.

The outlook for Sunday is cloudy with a maximum of 18 C with a chance of showers in the afternoon.

The forecast for Victoria Day Monday is partly sunny with a high of 18C.


Beautiful chunks of hail in Kanata

— Mihailo (@servianmusik)
May 21, 2022 — Harvey Hope ���� �� (@pcinnovation)
May 21, 2022

Blackburn, about 10 minutes ago.

— Kevin Parent (@Kevin__Parent)
May 21, 2022

#stittsville around 335 hours just before the core struck. #ottweather #onstorm

— BertoBluFyre (@BertoBluFyre)
May 21, 2022

Orleans, Renaud Rd. Surface

— BBQ Ottawa (@BbqOttawa)
May 21, 2022

@ottawacity @RiverWardRiley this is on Malhotra Court, off Riverside Drive. On the other side of the street.

Look at the size of the stump/room that came out.

The street is also under water.

— Jim_Elves ���� (@Jim_Elves)
May 21, 2022

Kanata from our balcony

Elizabeth MacTavish Armstrong (@elizabeth_doug)
May 21, 2022

Leikin and Merivale power lines in the middle of the road

— Justin Scanlon (@justinjscanlon)
May 21, 2022

Maple in bridlewood. Street flooded.

— Heather (@HeatherWilsonD)
May 21, 2022


— shannon k (@ocsb_MsKalil)
May 21, 2022

We are in Graham Park near Bayshore and it reminded us of the micro eruption we experienced in early September several years ago. Same gate down again

— Melanie Haskins (@melhaskins)
May 21, 2022

Working in a friend’s garage when it hit…

— Alex Parker (@ka_parker)
May 21, 2022

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