Highrise residents preparing for a second weekend without power
As thousands of residents are still in the dark, some are trying to find the willpower to get through another weekend of outages.
In one of the hardest hit areas of the city, right by Merivale Road, a condo with many elderly residents is still without electricity and hot water.
A back-up generator offers some light in the dark hallways of the Westpark condo building in Parkwood Hills, but residents are struggling.
People use headlamps to find their way to a common area in the building known as the party room, which quickly became a place of comfort after the storm.
“There were some people who were in tears and shaking and others who took it like it was comforting to be talking to people,” said Barbara Thompson, the condo board president.
The generator provides limited power in this building of nearly 200 units and more than 300 residents.
“After the tornado hit in 2018, we decided to put emergency power in our party room,” said Thompson. “The party room is open, we have coffee and you can charge your cell phones.”
“If we didn’t have that, I don’t know what we would do,” said Laurie Hanson, a resident.
Many people who live here are elderly and need refrigerated medicine and the help of personal support workers.
“One elevator on a generator went out I was considering calling the fire department to get them to carry people up the stairs,” said Thompson.
The storm hit the building hard and there was a terrifying moment when a maintenance platform came crashing down to the ground.
“A swing stage lifted up six floors, sheered off a tree and then it came smashing into the building,” said Thompson. “I was never so scared in my life, it was terrifying.”
The platform smashed into a fifth floor unit window, but no one was inside the room at the time.
As the cleanup continues, there’s hope the power comes back on soon.
“I don’t know how I’m going to cope, I really don’t know how,” said Hanson. “I could’ve managed today, maybe tomorrow morning, but the thought of tomorrow and Sunday and Monday, like what am I going to eat.”
Frustration and sadness as people here mark seven days without power or hot water.