Storm Ottawa: One death reported in western city

One death has been reported after a powerful thunderstorm swept across Ottawa Saturday afternoon.

An Ottawa police spokesperson told reporters during a media availability Saturday night that they knew a person in the western end of the city had died, but said no other details would be provided as they were still notifying the family.


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A major clean-up has been launched after a powerful storm knocked down trees and power lines in Ottawa on Saturday afternoon, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says the city’s emergency operations center has been activated, with “a full number of city and hydropower crews clearing roads and equipping rest.”

Ottawa’s paramedics are asking residents to only call 911 in an emergency as emergency responders handle numerous calls around the city.

Ottawa police said Saturday night there were serious injuries to a person in the western end of the city. A barn on the west side was destroyed and many people were trapped in vehicles due to power lines on roads across 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 the road to traffic.

“All available police resources are underway and more police have been called in. Police and crew assist injured or detained people and monitor the well-being of others,” the Ottawa Police Department said in a press release. “Don’t travel if you can avoid it and drive according to road conditions. Treat downed traffic lights as four-way stops.”

Police are reminding residents to call 311 for outaged power lines and not to call 911 unless someone is injured.

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.

Hydro Ottawa reports more than 100 outages affecting nearly 120,000 customers in the city. Estimated recovery times range from Saturday 10pm to Sunday 8am. Hydro One has reported outages in eastern Ontario, including places like Osgoode, Carleton Place and Arnprior.

“Hydro One crews will respond as quickly and safely as possible to disruptions caused by severe thunderstorms moving through southwestern and central Ontario,” the utility said Saturday.

Hydro Quebec reports that more than 115,000 customers in the Outaouais region will be without power at 6:15 p.m.

Due to disruptions, the O-Train Line 1 LRT is offline. Transit customers should take R1 buses instead. OC Transpo also says that the website is down.

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

“This is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation. Widespread and extremely strong wind gusts can destroy buildings with tornado-like damage, crush large tree trunks and blow vehicles off the road,” the warnings said.

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.


OTTAWA FORECAST

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.


STORM IMAGES

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