Demolition continues on homes in tornado-ravaged areas of Ottawa
Meredith MacLeod, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, September 26, 2018 1:58PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 26, 2018 3:03PM EDT
Homes and apartment buildings too severely damaged by Friday’s tornados in the Ottawa area continue to be demolished.
City crews and contractors were working in the devastated neighbourhood of Mont Bleu in Gatineau Wednesday. Some families were allowed into their units to salvage what personal items they could.
It’s estimated about 50 homes there will have to be razed, including an apartment building complex that was bulldozed Tuesday. It was home to about 600 people, some of whom are being housed in hotels.
The tornados ripped off roofs and walls, tossed vehicles upside down, blew out windows and left home furnishings soaked in water and mud.
It’s believed 30 homes will have to be demolished in Dunrobin, a town to the west of Ottawa, and 55 are deemed unsafe in Nepean and Ottawa South, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson shared with city council Wednesday. It was the first meeting since Friday’s ferocious weather.
Watson wants to waive demolition and building permit fees for victims of the storm, which could save homeowners between $500 and $2,000.
The city will prioritize permits for tornado-ravaged properties, asking all others to be patient.
Ottawa Hydro reported mid-day Wednesday that all power had been restored.
Volunteers continued to make their way through Dunrobin's demolished neighbourhoods to lay tarps on damaged homes to protect against rain this week.
About 20 Ottawa firefighters and contractors showed up Wednesday to help a woman featured on CTV Ottawa’s Tuesday newscast who couldn’t get power restored because of massive brush and debris on her property that was blocking the hydro pole. Insurance doesn’t cover that cost.
“It’s indicative of the city of Ottawa. Everybody comes together, everybody works together,” said firefighter Koert Winkler, who pitched in.
In stark contrast, city officials are warning residents of “reports of recovery companies misrepresenting themselves. Speak with your insurance company about authorized work and be vigilant of these potential scams.”
The City wants to warn residents in tornado-affected areas that there have been reports of recovery companies misrepresenting themselves. Speak with your insurance company about authorized work and be vigilant of these potential scams.— City of Ottawa (@ottawacity) September 25, 2018
Environment Canada has confirmed that six powerful tornadoes swept across the Ottawa area and through the neighbouring Quebec region on Friday.
There is one confirmed fatality in the severe weather and a number of people injured in the Ottawa area, including a farmer who fell off a ladder and a woman impaled by a stick of wood in an ice cream shop.
Darren Smith, a 46-year-old father of two and long-time City of Kingston employee, was killed when a tree toppled on his property just north of Kingston. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for his family.
About 1,500 people are registered at a victims’ centre in Gatineau, emergency officials said. As many as half of them are uninsured. The Red Cross is aiding relief efforts and the City of Gatineau has said it will ask the province to provide more funding beyond the $1 million already committed.
Donations efforts have been so strong that the pick-up centre had to be relocated to a former department store in a Gatineau mall.
The Red Cross has established an Ottawa-Gatineau Appeal line for those who wish to donate at 1-800-418-1111.
The province has activated its Disaster Relief Assistance Program for affected communities. The number is 1-844-780-8925 or email@example.com.
-With files from CTV Ottawa and The Canadian Press
We really wanted to show how thankful we are for @hydroottawa @OttawaParamedic @OttawaPolice @OttFire. Without you keeping us safe, we wouldn’t be able to come to school and learn! Thank you for all your hard work @StAnneOCSB pic.twitter.com/wpeNaVr8Sv— Beverly Wong (@MsBWong) September 25, 2018
@hydroottawa I may have been a bit excited that the power came back on... hahahah! I wanted to share this excitement and gratitude with you! You guys have been incredible and we are all so grateful! Not all super hero’s wear capes, the best ones where orange vests!! #Grateful pic.twitter.com/ZO2ig7seNj— Sam Franklin (@SamFranklin__) September 26, 2018
Thank you to the 1st responders and @hydroottawa & @cityofottawa staff for helping us through this nightmare. We are the lucky ones & are back home, ready to rebuild our community #dunrobinstrong pic.twitter.com/5pg4Zmb2Hf— Judi Varga-Toth (@Judi4WestCarltn) September 26, 2018
Our Emergency Disaster team is still onsite in #dunrobin providing lunch, snack and emotional support. Support of food, clothing and furniture can be accessed through our Community and Family Services by calling 613-241-1573. #ONstorm #ottnews @ottawacity @ottfire @ctvottawa pic.twitter.com/1npT7Vn5OD— OttawaSalvationArmy (@Salvation_Army) September 26, 2018