Calmer, cooler skies one day after massive storm
Ottawa and Gatineau residents awoke Sunday morning to assess the aftermath of the previous day's wind storm that tore roofs from homes, uprooted trees, and sent hydro lines crashing to the ground.
The following east-end streets have been reopened: Springfield Road at Beechwood Avenue, Vanier Parkway at Beechwood Avenue, and Montreal Road. Highway 511 at Calabogie has also been cleared of debris by Hydro One crews and opened to traffic.
About 1,000 Ottawa homes remained without power late Sunday afternoon, mainly in the west-end Britannia, Crystal Beach, and Lincoln Fields neighbourhoods, and along the Ottawa River between Rockcliffe Park and Orl�ans.
Hydro Ottawa crews remain at work, and there are no estimated times for restored service.
And about 5,000 Hydro One customers remained without power as of 4 p.m. in areas ranging from Kingston and Bancroft to Arnprior and North Frontenac.
While Ottawa only reported 1.6 millimetres of rain on Saturday, winds howled across the city. Gatineau recorded the largest gust at 96 kilometres per hour.
"I looked out of the window and all I could see were the trees bending at a 90-degree angle (and) huge gusts of wind," said Leslie Stenning, a west Ottawa resident.
"You could hear it blowing like a tornado. I looked at this building here and I could see was (the roof) being ripped off like a can of sardines."
Despite several reported sightings of funnel clouds, Environment Canada did not confirm any tornados in the capital.
"I ducked underneath a bridge at Island Park and stayed there to protect myself," said Helen Lanthall.
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Roof damage forced all 30 residents of a Morriset Avenue apartment building to seek alternative arrangements until at least Tuesday. Many are being helped by the Canadian Red Cross.
Three residents of a Britannia duplex were also forced to leave their home. At nearby Britannia Park, dozens of old white pines were uprooted as if they were young saplings.
Twenty-two small aircraft at Rockcliffe Airport were damaged, ranging from Cessnas to Cherokees. More than half are now considered complete write-offs. The Rockcliffe Flying Club will be closed for at least two more days.
After several hours of bucolic sunshine and high temperatures in the capital, the thunderstorm arrived at about 7 p.m. Saturday.
An official severe thunderstorm warning for Ottawa ended one hour later, but not before police issued a request for drivers to avoid roads in the city's west and central areas due to downed power lines and trees, broken traffic lights, and falling debris from buildings.
Ten thousand Hydro Ottawa customers, along with several thousand more people across eastern Ontario, lost service.
In Gatineau, emergency workers dealt with hundreds of calls for fallen hydro lines, trees, torn roofs, and collapsed scaffolding on construction sites.
No serious injuries were reported.
More than 90 per cent of affected traffic lights have been fixed. Trees on private property that fallen onto roads will be cleared by city crews but must be disposed of by residents, according to the City of Gatineau.
With reports from CTV Ottawa's Kristy Kirkup and John Hua