It’s been a week since a devastating storm swept through the nation’s capital, knocking out power to tens of thousands of people.
Saturday evening, around 18,000 households and businesses are still in the dark.
In a neighborhood of South Keys, trees are cut down and tarps cover the roofs.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” said Stacey Ottley, a resident whose home was badly damaged in the storm. “It’s been very disappointing and it’s been over a week without power.”
People are trying to deal with expensive cleaning as they have no electricity or hot water.
“We have insurance, but it’s still expensive because we have to pay the arborist upfront and it’s $1,400 an hour because it’s an emergency,” she said. .
Hydro crews are stationed throughout the city, focusing on the hardest hit neighborhoods.
“It was such a widespread success in our city,” said Joseph Muglia, Hydro Ottawa’s director of system operations and automation. “There are a huge number of trees on broken wires and poles that we are still dealing with.”
As Hydro Ottawa enters the final phase of restoration, there is a goal, but no firm commitment to restore power by the end of the weekend.
“That’s our goal and certainly getting that number to zero as much as possible is definitely our goal,” Muglia said.
The damage is widespread as people rely on generators for electricity.
“All hours of the day and almost all night there are generators running,” said Ottawa resident Shira Schwartz.
The City of Ottawa was distributing storm clean-up kits to residents in need on Saturday.
“I decided to grab a coffee, recharge and thought I’d grab a kit just to help out a few neighbors in the area,” said Michelle Optis, who has been without power for eight days.
Helping others is a welcome distraction for Optis as she continues to deal with a very difficult and exhausting situation.
“The lack of power is starting to affect a lot of us,” she said. “A lot of us are starting to get a little mad and sad.”
As city workers continue to go from street to street clearing debris from the storm, it’s clear that it will take weeks.