Severe Weather Event Update

Update concerning City response to the severe thunderstorm which created power outages throughout Ward 13.

A severe weather event on Saturday, May 21 has caused significant damage, power outages and service disruptions through the city.

City crews are responding to city-wide damage caused by a severe storm that moved through the Ottawa area Saturday afternoon. The City is in enhanced operations for this incident and has mobilized all resources necessary.

There have been multiple reports of power outages, damaged property and fallen trees, particularly in Overbrook, Manor Park, Lindenlea and Rockcliffe Park.

Hydro Ottawa is working non-stop to restore power to over 110,00 customers but has indicated that the level of damage to its distribution system is extensive and that they are managing the situation from a whole of city perspective given that no single area of the city is unaffected.


Crews are working diligently to ensure public safety and restore power as soon as possible. Restoration is expected to extend across multiple days. Power will be restored initially to large scale outages, followed by smaller ones, keeping safety as the number one priority.

If you see a downed power line, stay at least 10 meters (the length of a school bus) away from the wires and from any objects that are in contact with the lines.

Hydro Ottawa has indicated that power restoration could be a take three to four days, as tree debris clean up, core infrastructure reconstruction, and well as line inspections need to be undertaken prior to safely resuming power service.

Crews continue to repair equipment and restore power to customers across the city. If you are experiencing an outage, please call 613-738-0188.

In interim, my office in working with partners, including the City, Ottawa Community Housing and the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre to provide enhanced support as power outages persist.

Emergency Reception Centres

Working in conjunction with Councillor Fleury, we have been able to secure the opening of the following facilities:

Bernard Grandmaître Arena (309 McArthur Road) will be open on Monday, May 23 until 10pm tonight for rest, a shower, and washrooms for both Overbrook and Vanier residents.

Horizon‐Jeunessse school (349 Olmstead) will be open on Monday, May 23 (9am to 9pm) The space is available to support families by providing access to gym, to charge devices, and use washrooms.

The RSC: Rideau Sports Centre located at 1 Donald Street is open as of 9 am until 6pm and will provide access to washrooms and support your device charging needs.

We will continue to work with the City’s enhanced operations unit to advocate for expansion of the number of reception centres available.  We are also working with community partners to help with the provision of warm meals. We have also requested Ottawa Hydro to prioritize power restoration of other community centres in the Ward.

City Response

Crews from the Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Fire Service, Ottawa Paramedic Service other city services are responding to the emergency and will continue to do so. The City’s forestry crews are also responding to fallen trees throughout the city.

A major gas leak affected Presland Road but was safely resolved on Saturday in the aftermath of the storm.

This weather event has affected Ottawa Community Housing communities in Overbrook. Damage to homes, downed trees and power lines have been reported. Staff are assisting tenants and are assessing the impact of the storm. There are no reports of injuries to tenants or staff.


The City’s 3-1-1 call centre is experiencing very high call volume. Ottawa residents are asked to remain patient as workers respond to calls on a priority basis. Please only call 3-1-1 for urgent issues that are a threat to public safety. 

Support for residents in need

Residents in need can call 2-1-1 for information on government and local community-based health and social services.

Also speak with neighbours, friends, and family to help assist with meet immediate needs.

Food Supports

If you meet neighbours who need immediate food assistance, they should call 2-1-1to be redirected to the Ottawa Food Bank for assistance.

The Ottawa Food Bank continues to provide home deliveries in partnership with Ottawa Cares, along with other agencies.

Any time someone needs food, please use the Ottawa Food Bank’s
online tool. Based on your postal code, you can find your local food program and the hours of service.


The power failure will result in food spoiling. If the doors to your appliances are kept closed, food in freezers will keep for 24 to 48 hours without power, and food in refrigerators will keep for up to four hours. When in doubt, throw it out! Tips to reduce the risk of foodborne illness following a power failure are available here:

Stay away from loose or dangling wires. Do not walk, roll, bike, or drive over them.

In the incident of a power outage, please do not use BBQs or portable fuel fired heaters / generators inside, due to carbon monoxide and fire concerns.

While waiting for power to be restored, turn off all lights, unplug appliances and electronics, and turn down heating system thermostats. This will help avoid a power surge when electricity is restored.

Close room doors to keep heat or cool air in a confined area.

If there is debris on your property, please refrain from putting it on the sidewalk.

Use flashlights instead of candles. If you must use candles, place them in a non-combustible container away from drapes and carpet and never leave them unattended.

If you are using a generator, plug your appliances directly into it using properly rated approved cords.

If you are without power and have a battery operated or crank radio, you can listen to local stations for updates.

Situation Updates

For up-to-date information, you can follow these social media accounts for the latest information:

If you are without power but have a battery-operated or crank radio, you can listen to local stations for updates.

Traffic and OC Transpo

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, we ask that you stay off the roads as much as possible. Expect delays and possibly detours as fallen trees and debris are blocking some roads. By minimizing travel, you help keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles.

Treat downed traffic lights as four way stops. 

For the latest information visit, call 613-560-5000 or follow OC Transpo’s Twitter account. 

Ottawa's online traffic map and the City of Ottawa’s traffic Twitter account have the latest information on traffic delays and disruptions.

Weather events like this can affect everyone differently. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, please reach out and speak to someone. For mental health services and supports, please visit

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