Update: Response to Severe Thunderstorm

Additional update concerning City response to the severe thunderstorm which created power outages throughout Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward.

Hydro Ottawa Continues to Work On Power Restoration 

Concerning prolonged power outages, Hydro Ottawa is aiming to have the bulk of the electrical system up and running by end of day, Friday, with smaller pockets recovered over the weekend. Weather may impact restoration efforts if more severe wind, rain and thunderstorms occur.

More specific updates from Hydro Ottawa for Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward are forthcoming but the utility reported that crews are working in Overbook and are expecting to be able to energize that community later today or this evening. This does not mean everyone in that neighbourhood would be restored but the bulk system feeding the area will come back online soon, so most customers in that area will see power soon.  

As Hydro Ottawa provides more specific neighbourhood details and restoration times, my office will communicate that information to the community. 

Today, Hydro Ottawa crews with support from our contractors, Kingston Utilities, London Hydro, Toronto Hydro and Cornwall Electric are currently assisting in the restoration effort in many neighbourhoods across the City and in Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward. 

Hydro Ottawa has apprised us that if you do not see a hydro truck or crew in your specific area, it does not mean that the utility is not working on the problem in your immediate area. Hydro Ottawa emphasizes that system is highly sophisticated -utilizing automation & remote access - enabling the utility to move power from one area to another without needing to be on site.  

If you notice any trees or branches on powerlines please report it by calling 613-738-0188 or sending an e-mail to [email protected].  Do not attempt to remove branches that may be touching a power line. 

Food resources available for residents in need 

The City of Ottawa is partnering with community agencies to connect residents in need to food resources during the storm recovery. Food resources, including home delivery and pick-up options, are available throughout the city. To find a food resource near you, visit ottawa.ca/resident-support.  

Residents in need can also call 2-1-1 for information on government and community-based health and social services, including food resources. 

Residents affected by the power outage who are in need of financial help can also complete an application and be assessed for emergency assistance for loss of food, and in exceptional circumstances, help with medication, medical supplies or personal care. To apply, visit the online application for emergency assistance or call 3-1-1 and select option 4. If you are already in receipt of Ontario Works, please call your case worker directly. 

Please note that 3-1-1 is experiencing a higher number of calls than usual. Ottawa residents are asked to remain patient as workers respond to calls as quickly as possible. 

Green bin blitz – Manor Park 



Additional green bin collection - Tomorrow (May 27) - for the Manor Park area in Ward 13. Please ensure all packaging is removed from food before going into the bin and place your green bin at the curb for collection.
 

Tree branch and yard waste collection will take time. Please place small bundles of branches at the curb and ensure it does not impede roadway or pedestrian access. For more information, please visit ottawa.ca. 

Claims Information and FAQ 

On Saturday, May 21, 2022, the City of Ottawa was seriously impacted by a powerful derecho storm, which caused significant property damage, power outages and service disruptions throughout the City.  Many residents are struggling with on-going power outages and dealing with damage to their property caused by falling trees, extreme wind, and flooding in the wake of this storm.   

This information sheet is meant to assist you in understanding some of your options. 

Claim FAQs 

Q: I had a fridge and freezer full of food that was spoiled as a result of the storm.  How can I receive compensation? 

A: Residents should contact their home insurer to see if they can assist in this regard.  

If you need urgent support, you can apply for financial assistance through the Province for money for food replacement.  In exceptional circumstances there may also be help available with mediation, medical supplies and/or personal care. 

How do I apply? 

Applications for emergency assistance are completed online or over the phone. To apply: 

  • Go to the online application for emergency assistance 
  • Or call 3-1-1, select 1 for English and 4 for Social Services; City staff will take an application and do an assessment to see if you qualify.  
  • If you are already in receipt of Ontario Works please call your case worker directly 

The City is not the same as an insurer of residents.  It will only pay a claim if damages were caused by a negligent act or omission on the part of the City.  While unfortunate, the City is not legally responsible for the region’s power outages and the City will not provide compensation for spoiled food resulting from the power outages.   

Q: My private property has been damaged in the storm.  What is my recourse? 

A: If the storm event has caused damage to your private property, such as your home or your vehicle, the first step is to contact your insurance broker or your insurance company directly.  In addition to potentially providing coverage for your loss, your insurer may be able to provide advice and assistance in dealing with your immediate needs, for example they may be able to assist in timely flood remediation, tree removal, roof repair, or by providing a replacement vehicle while yours is being repaired.  The City does not assess or arrange for repairs of private property damaged as a result of the storm. 

If your storm-related damages are covered by your insurer, and your insurer has reason to believe that a negligent act or omission on the part of the City caused or contributed to the damages, your insurer may choose to bring a subrogated claim against the City seeking compensation for the loss.  If such an action is commenced, your insurer may include a claim for your deductible on your behalf.   

Q: What can I expect if I submit my own claim for storm related damages to the City? 

A: The City of Ottawa is not the same as an insurer.  It does not provide compensation for all storm-related damage to private property or vehicles unless the City is legally liable for that damage.   

If a claim for compensation for storm-related damage is submitted to the City an investigation will be commenced. The City will not pay a claim unless it is determined that the damage was caused or contributed to by a negligent act or omission on the part of the City.   

If the investigation determines that the City is legally responsible for the loss, any payment made by the City will be based on the actual cash value of the property, taking depreciation into account.  In contrast, your insurance policy may provide a better basis of settlement, such as replacement cost, which does not deduct for depreciation. 

Q: What if it was a city-owned tree that caused damage to my private property? 

A: If a city-owned tree is damaged or has caused damage due to storm event, it is important to report it to the City via 311 and to not touch the tree. The City will arrange for the clean-up and/or removal of any damaged city-owned trees.  Situations where the tree is blocking the roadway, is leaning/uprooted or is on a house or car are considered urgent.  Residents should not engage with private arborists for clean-up and/or removal of city-owned trees, as the City will assess and undertake this work.  Forestry staff can also assess to determine ownership (private/city) of the tree.  Residents and/or their insurers can proceed with repairs to private property without an assessment by the City.  If a city-owned tree needs to be removed in advance of this work, Forestry Services is prioritizing those requests. 

The City is not automatically liable for damages caused by the failure of a city-owned tree.  If a claim is made for compensation for storm-related damages caused by a city-owned tree, the City will commence an investigation.   

In its investigation, the City will consider whether the tree in question was otherwise healthy and, if not, whether the City’s inspection and maintenance of the tree was reasonable in all of the circumstances. 

Unless the storm-related failure of the tree was caused or contributed to by a negligent act or omission on the part of the City, the City will not provide compensation for any resulting damages.   

Q: How do I make a claim against the City? 

A: You must contact the City’s Claims Unit directly.  There are several ways to submit a claim.  It is recommended that you use the online claim Webform for ease of submission and to ensure that the Claims Unit receives all information that is required to review your claim.  This webform can be found at ottawa.ca/claims 

Alternatively, you can also submit a claim by email, fax or regular mail/courier.  If you are submitting via one of these channels, be sure to include all the following details, which are required to properly open and assess the claim: 

  • Your full name, home address, phone number and e-mail address 
  • A detailed description of what happened that caused the property damage, including date, time and location  
  • A description of why you believe the City is responsible for your damages/property loss 
  • Contact information for any witnesses, City staff and/or other parties with information that could help the City understand what happened 
  • Any supporting documentation, including photos, estimates, receipts, etc. 

Correspondence may be submitted as follows:  

By Webform: 
Claim Submission Web Form 

By mail:  
City of Ottawa  
Legal Services, Claims Unit  
110 Laurier Avenue West, 3rd floor  
Ottawa ON K1P 1J1 

By email:  
[email protected] 

By fax:  
613-580-2667 

Phone: 613-580-2655 (Note: Even if the Claims Unit is first contacted by phone, the client must submit their claim in writing) 

After the storm: what to do with your debris and waste 

The City is continuing with regular garbage and recycling collection following the severe storm that passed through Ottawa on Saturday, May 21. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about your waste and debris, and what to do with it. 

City crews are working hard to remove items put to the curb, but it will take several weeks before the cleanup is finished. All available resources have been redeployed and as a result, other less-urgent operations may be delayed, like park waste collection and grass-mowing, or sidewalk repair. If you are enjoying lunch in your local park, please consider taking your waste home with you as it may be some time before the City can empty those bins. 

What do to with your household waste 

Examples: Food packaging, plastics, cardboard, broken glass. Visit the Waste Explorer for more. 

How to dispose: Put your household waste to the curb as part of regular garbage and recycling collection, according to the collection calendar. Remember to put broken glass in a separate cardboard box clearly labeled 'broken glass' and set it out on garbage day. 

What to do with your organic waste 

Examples: Food waste or scraps, barbeque ashes, paper coffee cups, soiled paper towels and paper. Visit the Waste Explorer for more. 

How to dispose: Organic waste can be disposed of in your green bin. Organic waste gets picked up weekly so you can continue to put out your green bin, according to the collection calendar. Collection may take time due to expected increased volume, so if your green bin is not collected by the end of the day, please take it in and put it back out at the curb the following morning. 

The City is carrying out a green bin blitz over the next few days in the neighbourhoods most affected by the storm to ensure organic waste is collected as soon as possible. Visit the Storm recovery webpage for more information on the green bin blitz. 

The City has also set up several sites for residents to have ongoing access to organics-only waste dumpsters. Just like you do with your green bin, you are allowed to bag your waste. Visit ottawa.ca for a complete list of dumpster locations. More dumpsters are being added so be sure to check back for up-to-date information. 

Please remember that these dumpsters are for organics only. Non-organic materials, like food packaging, should be disposed of separately. 

What to do with your storm-related waste  

Examples: Shingles, fencing, lawn furniture. Visit the Waste Explorer for more. 

How to dispose: Please separate storm-related waste from any trees or branches when you put them to the curb.  

The City’s landfill at the Trail Waste Facility, at 4475 Trail Road, is also offering extended hours to accommodate special collections and will waive tipping fees for residents with storm-related materials to support residents with their disposal needs. 

What to do with your tree cuttings, branches and brush  

Examples: logs, large tree limbs, pressure treated wood 

How to dispose: If the debris is small enough, you should bring it to curb for collection, provided it does not impede the roadway or pedestrian access. Please separate brush-like tree cuttings or branches from non-organic storm-related waste. If you can, use twine or another organic material to tie branches in bundles of less than 1.2 metres (four feet) in length and 60 centimetres (two feet) in width. 

Public Works crews are working to remove large trees and pieces of wood on roads and in parks that are hazardous, or are damaging homes and vehicles, blocking roads, or leaning on residential properties. Large trees, trunks, stumps and root systems that residents have cut down may be placed curbside if possible. While these will not be collected as part of the regular waste collection, the City will pick them up. This collection will take several weeks. 

For now, you do not need a permit to remove dead or hazardous trees on your private property where the tree is an immediate threat to public health and safety or will not survive the damage sustained. Photos should be taken before removal to provide evidence of the condition of the tree should there be future inquiries. 

What to do with your household hazardous waste  

Examples: batteries, un-emptied aerosol containers, propane cylinders, paints and coatings, gasoline 

How to dispose: Household hazardous waste can be safely disposed of at participating local retailers during their regular business hours. For a list of retailers who accept returns of household hazardous waste, enter the item in the Waste Explorer. 

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