Ice Storm Update - December 28

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]  You can also follow me at @PaulaFletcher30

If you require immediate assistance please call 311 directly by dialing 311 or by email [email protected] You can also follow me at @PaulaFletcher30

Hydro Update

Toronto Hydro is reporting that approximately 18,000 customers are now without power and crews are continuing to work around the clock to restore service. It is expected to take several more days to fully restore power to all the affected areas. Personnel from Sault Ste Marie, Windsor, Ottawa and Manitoba are assisting with the restoration efforts.

Crews are currently focusing on neighbourhoods and individual homes still affected by outages. The utility is closely monitoring the weather. If winds pick up this could trigger more outages.

In situations where the homeowner is required to make repairs before the power can be restored, the homeowner will need to provide Hydro with the ESA inspection certificate number and customer contact information. Homeowners are advised to call 416-542-8000 with this information so that Hydro can initiate a work order.

Vulnerable Residents

The City's Emergency Operations Centre has been working closely with Toronto Police Services, Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto Hydro, the TTC and TCHC through door-to-door canvassing to identify vulnerable residents that require special assistance.  If you are concerned about a neighbour or family member and are unable to provide them with help call police at 416-808-5500 to request their assistance.

Fallen Trees

There are currently 50 Forestry crews and 15 staff in single vehicles triaging calls and 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. There are also 13 forestry crews from Ottawa and London that are assisting Toronto's forestry staff with debris removal.

Safety

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

Members of the public are urged to be aware of their surroundings.  Rising temperatures are causing falling ice. Residents are urged to exercise caution around buildings, large structures (such as cranes), and vehicles, particularly around large trucks. Residents are also urged to exercise extreme caution and avoid walking under trees that are covered in ice, particularly in parks, wooded valleys, and near playgrounds.

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. When power does return to your home, check all appliances and ensure they are running properly.

Community Care Access Centre Clients

Community Care Access Centre clients who use home oxygen and have concerns can call 310-2222 (no area code required) for assistance. All others are asked to contact their oxygen supplier for assistance.

Trees, Debris and Removal

Residents are urged to exercise extreme caution and avoid walking under trees that are covered in ice, particularly in parks, wooded valleys, and near playgrounds.

City staff from Transportation, Forestry and Solid Waste Management are working together to address tree debris.  There are more than 40 Transportation crews currently addressing debris management. Clearing of debris is well underway on major roadways, with a priority on public safety. Crews are currently pushing tree debris to the side of the roads to make them safe and passable, and will focus on residential streets in the coming days. Work to clear all tree debris is expected to begin January 3rd and it will continue for approximately eight weeks, weather permitting.

Tree branches that have fallen on private property and are of a manageable size that can be dragged to the City's right-of-way (i.e., to the curb) will be picked up.  Please do not place debris on the sidewalk or in the roadway. Please keep it on the boulevard, or on your property. You need to provide at least one meter of clearance to ensure those with mobility issues can safely pass.

Large limb or stem (body) wood from private trees that have fallen on private property should not be taken to the curb. Property owners should contact a private contractor to remove this material.

Homeowners do not require a City permit to remove damaged or downed trees that are hazardous. Tree removal may not be needed. Some trees can be saved with proper care and maintenance. Trees may be pruned to remove damaged branches. Please use a professional arborist to ensure safety.

City crews cannot go onto private property to clear private trees that have fallen on private property.

Toronto Roads and Traffic The number of signalized intersections without power continues to decrease. An estimated 70 to 80 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.

There are more than 40 crews focused on repairing potholes. Truck drivers are asked to watch for low hanging wires on residential streets.

Parking

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

Food, Water, Warmth and Rest

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. Approximately 258 people were accommodated last night.

In Ward 30, Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard St. E. (Pape/Gerrard) is open - replacing East York Collegiate Institute

Holiday Waste Pickup

Residents are reminded that 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. Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.

Food Safety Residents who have been without power, or recently had their power restored, are advised to reduce the risk of a food borne illness:

  • If you have been without power for 24 hours or longer, all food in the fridge should be thrown out.
  • During a power outage of 48 hours or longer, all food in the freezer should be thrown out.
  • Any leftover cooked food that cannot be reheated or stored in a working refrigerator or freezer should be thrown out.
  • Never eat food that looks or smells strange – when in doubt, throw it out. More food safety tips are available at http://bitly.com/Jxt79e.
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 www.ttc.ca for schedule details and service alerts.

GO Transit

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

Outdoor Skating Rinks For current information and status updates please see www.toronto.ca/skate.

Toronto Public Libraries

You are cordially invited to visit our warm and welcoming spaces: we offer wifi and internet workstations as well as great books, magazines and more. Call your local branch or check www.torontopubliclibrary.ca for details.

Thank You

I would like to thank the many residents of Ward 30 who are lending a hand by helping neighbours, relatives and friends and also to those who have assisted by moving tree branches off the roads and sidewalks and onto the boulevards. Your assistance is deeply appreciated.

Social Media Updates

For updates during an emergency event and other City of Toronto information, follow @TorontoComms on Twitter. The City will be using #citystorm when providing updates on the storm. You can also follow me at @PaulaFletcher30

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