Ice Storm Update – December 27

Office Hours: My office remains open for business during the aftermath of the ice storm. It is best to contact me at 416-392-4060 or [email protected]   If you require immediate assistance please call 311 directly by dialing 311 or by email [email protected]

Toronto Hydro

Toronto Hydro has finished repairs to primary feeders, restoring power to approximately 227,800 customers (down from 300,000 at the height of the storm).

Crews are now turning their attention to restore streets and individual homes but continue to operate on their triage system - the most dangerous situations are being prioritized.

Toronto Hydro is asking customers to check the condition of their electrical service entry outside the house (commonly called the electrical stand pipe and mast). Customers, who can clearly see there is damage, should contact a licensed electrical contractor to make repairs in advance. When Toronto Hydro crews arrive to energize your service, it can be done without any further delay.

Electrical contractors must be licensed by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) otherwise they are working illegally and potentially putting customer safety at risk.

Please visit the ESA website at esasafe.com/consumers/contractorlookup for a listing of ESA/ECRA licensed electrical contractors.  Toronto Hydro will also be posting a list of pre-approved contractors on its website at torontohydro.com.

If you spot a downed wire, please stay back (at least 10 feet) and report it to Toronto Hydro's operations centre at 416-542-8000. Please be cautious of falling tree limbs as well.

Customers concerned that Toronto Hydro is reporting that their neighbourhood has been restored when their home is still without power, are advised to do the following:

  • Check to see if your neighbours have power, if they don't, it is likely that more work is to be done on your street.
  • If your home is the only house without electricity, check your electrical panel inside the home to see if the breakers are in the "on" position.
  • Check the electrical service entry outside your home to see if it is damaged or the service wire is "down".
Toronto Hydro is working around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.  They are receiving approximately 30,000 calls daily down from 128,000 on December 22. They are being assisted by other utilities including Hydro Ottawa, Sault St. Marie PUC, Enwin (Windsor) and Manitoba Hydro.

Reception/Warming Centres

The City continues to operate locations across the city where vulnerable residents and those who need assistance can access food, water, warmth and rest. Pets are welcome. Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard St. E. is open. Please note the warming centre located at Eastview C.I. is now closed.

Toronto Roads, Parking and Traffic

The number of signalized intersections without power continues to decrease. An estimated 150 traffic signals remain without power. Transportation Services expects that number will decrease further today. The City is working closely with Toronto Police to provide point-duty at intersections that require it. Motorists are reminded to treat any intersection without functioning signal lights as an all-way stop.

Salting operations continue today on main roads, and collector roads, local roads and sidewalks, with TTC stops a priority.

Parking consideration will be provided for residents who park on the street beyond posted times due to limited access to icy driveways.

Toronto District School Board Child Care Centres

The Toronto District School Board announced Thursday that all facilities, including child care centres, would be closed until further notice for safety inspection due to damages inflicted during the ice storm.

There are approximately 200 schools with no power, and while many schools have been restored, there have been intermittent power outages. Among the physical effects of the storm are roof damage, water seepage and flooding. At this time there is no estimate on how long the closure will last; there are more than 600 sites requiring inspection.

Toronto Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS

Call volumes continue to be higher than normal for Toronto EMS, and particularly for Toronto Fire Services.

Residents are urged to not operate propane, natural gas or charcoal barbecues indoors as they can create a dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning hazard if not properly vented. Also, do not use a stove or camping gear for heating your home, as they can similarly create a carbon monoxide poisoning and burn hazard. Ensure battery backup is operating for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Exercise extreme caution when using candles.

The Ontario Provincial Police and Toronto Police Services are now conducting wellness checks at high-rise buildings that have been without power since December 21.

Damaged Trees

Damaged trees – and only damaged trees – located on private property can be removed by the homeowner without a permit. It is recommended that you hire a trained arborist to ensure your own personal safety. Ice covered trees and limbs are very heavy and can cause serious injury.

There are currently 38 City Forestry crews and 16 contractor crews out today working closely with Toronto Hydro. The Forestry crews work to clear downed trees and fallen branches and facilitate access for hydro crews to work on power restoration. Additional forestry crews from across the province are currently responding to assist Toronto's forestry staff with debris removal.

All motorists, especially truck drivers, are urged to watch for low hanging wires particularly on residential streets.

 

Debris from Trees

A debris management plan is being put in place to deal with the thousands of trees and branches that have come down as a result of the storm. Residents are being asked to stack debris on boulevards or their private property where it will be picked up. Please do not place the debris on sidewalks.

Holiday Waste Pickup

Residents are reminded that this week and next week, curbside collection on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will move forward one day. This means that Wednesday collection moves to Thursday, Thursday collection moves to Friday, and Friday collection moves to Saturday. Changes are reflected in the residential collection calendar. Due to downed trees and hydro wires, collection vehicles are not able to reach some areas. There may also be delays. Residents should leave their materials out until they are collected. If required, additional collection crews will work on Monday (not a regularly scheduled collection day).

Food Waste

If you have organic material (food waste) that cannot fit in the Green Bin, please set it out in a clear plastic bag on the day of your pick up. Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

If you don't have heat for your home and the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a trickle of water so there is some movement of water in pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing.

If you are leaving your home because of no heat, you can shut off the main service valve in your basement and open your lowest tap to drain the water out of your plumbing lines to prevent them from freezing.

TTC

Please check http://www.ttc.ca for schedule details and service alerts.

GO Transit

Please check http://www.gotransit.com for schedule details and service updates.

Outdoor Skating Rinks

For current information and status updates, please see http://www.toronto.ca/skate.

Thank You, Stay Safe and Lend a Hand

Thank you to the many Ward 30 residents and businesses who have gone out of their way to lend a hand during the storm. Many of you have been checking on your neighbours, opening your doors to friends and family without power, donating food to the warming centres and generally taking care of one another. To each of you a very sincere thank you!

Please take extra precautions to stay safe – watch for downed power lines, sidewalks are slippery and branches continue to come down as the temperatures rise.

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