Two dead after major storm rips through Ottawa
Two people are dead and at least two others are critically injured after a powerful thunderstorm ripped through Ottawa Saturday afternoon.
The storm with wind gusts of up to 120 km/h blasted across the city, knocking down trees and power lines and damaging homes and other buildings.
Ottawa police said Sunday morning a 59-year-old man died after being struck by a falling tree on a golf course on Golf Club Way in Ottawa's west end. The investigation into the man's death continues.
Later Saturday, Gatineau police said a 51-year-old woman drowned after her boat capsized in the Ottawa River near Masson-Angers. Police were working to contact her family Saturday night.
Ottawa paramedic chief Pierre Poirier told reporters that two people were critically injured at golf courses and one person was seriously injured in a car crash.
“We reached a Level 0 during the event, but we are there no longer,” Poirier said, referring to a state when there are no immediately available ambulances.
Ottawa fire chief Paul Hutt said fire crews responded to 500 calls for downed trees, damaged buildings, fires, and downed power lines.
Mayor Jim Watson said the storm affected the entire city.
“We know the storm has touched every corner of our city,” he said. “Many residents are experiencing power outages. City staff have been deployed and are responding. I ask everyone to remain patient.”
As of late Saturday night, Hydro Ottawa reported more than 1,000 outages affecting 179,000 customers.
The city’s emergency operations centre has been activated to deal with the fallout from the storm.
Ottawa police say they are deploying additional officers to the most heavily affected parts of the city to help maintain public safety.
City staff say it could take several days to clean up all of the damage.
Kim Ayotte, the city’s general manager of emergency and protective services said this storm, while brief, had a massive impact.
“The sheer area that’s been affected is like nothing I’ve seen in my memory,” he said. “We expect cleanup from the storm to take several days.”
Joseph Muglia, director of system operations and grid automation for Hydro Ottawa echoed Ayotte’s comments.
“We haven’t had a hit like this since the tornadoes,” he said. “This is different because this is so widespread across the city.”
Hydro Ottawa’s outage map shows scattered outages across Ottawa. Muglia said about half of Hydro Ottawa’s customer base has been affected.
“Not only do we have local distribution issues, we’ve got issues with the provincial supplier, a loss of supply to city,” he said.
Hydro One is also reporting tens of thousands of customers without power across eastern Ontario.
Across the river, Hydro Quebec reported 121,000 customers without power in the Outaouais region.
“More than likely, this will be a multi-day event,” Muglia said. “We’re restoring where possible but that will depend on the provincial supplier and replacing downed poles. This is a challenging event.”
Muglia said crews would be working through the night, though most efforts would be focused during daylight hours when it’s safer.
TREES TORN UP
The storm ripped trees out by the roots as it blew across the city. A wind gust of 120 km/h was recorded at the Ottawa Airport at 3:30 p.m. The 4 p.m. weather update included a gust of 113 km/h. Ottawa police had asked residents to shelter in place as the storm hit.
Ottawa police said Saturday evening that a barn in the west end was destroyed, and many people had been trapped in vehicles due to live wires on roads throughout the city, including 40 drivers on Woodroffe Avenue. Police responded to gas leaks on St. Joseph Boulevard and Presland Road. Downed power lines across Highway 174 near Trim Road forced police to close the eastbound lanes to traffic.
One tree fell on a person at a golf course, Poirier said, adding this person was one of the two people who were critically injured.
Trees also fell on cars and buildings throughout the region.
Watson said he had heard from many city councillors that residents were out helping each other after the storm.
“I appreciate the good neighbour approach,” he said.
Ayotte also encouraged residents to check in on neighbours and loved ones if it was safe to do so.
Due to outages, the O-Train Line 1 LRT was offline. Transit customers took R1 buses instead. General manager of transit services Renée Amilcar told reporters the O-Train draws on electricity from various sources across the city. By Sunday morning, the O-Train was fully operational again.
The severe thunderstorm warning for Ottawa ended at around 4:40 p.m. and a severe thunderstorm watch ended by 4:50 p.m.
Weather radar showed that a storm with very heavy rain moved northeast from Michigan and into southern Ontario late Saturday morning, passing through London, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Toronto, hitting Ottawa at around 3:30 p.m. By 4:30 p.m., the strongest part of the storm had moved northeast into Quebec.
After the storm moved out of the region, the temperature dropped 12 degrees from 30 C to 18 C, before ticking back up a couple of degrees late in the afternoon.
The weather forecast for Ottawa includes clouds overnight, bringing a chance of showers and a risk of a thunderstorm with a low of 14 C.
Sunday’s outlook is cloudy with a high of 18 C and a chance of showers in the afternoon.
The forecast for Victoria Day Monday is partly sunny with a high of 18 C.
- with files from Colton Praill, CTV News Ottawa
Ottawa Top Stories
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | What you need to know about Canada Day events in Ottawa
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Here's a list of Canada Day events across eastern Ontario
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | OC Transpo rolls out new summer schedule
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Many Canadians remain unaware of the involvement of forced child labour in the products they buy, according to non-profit agency World Vision Canada.
Hundreds of protesters descended on the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday to denounce the justice's decision to overturn the half-century-old Roe v. Wade precedent that recognized women's constitutional right to abortion.
As Pride festivities kick off around the world, many refugees are celebrating the LGBTQ2S+ community for the first time.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed to the G7 summit in Germany on Saturday without a consensus from the Commonwealth to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but with a chorus of countries calling for help to overcome the fallout of the war.
The World Health Organization said the escalating monkeypox outbreak in nearly 50 countries should be closely monitored but does not warrant being declared a global health emergency.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion, protesters and supporters of the ruling gathered at the high court's building in Washington, D.C., and in other cities nationwide.
With the nation's capital bracing for anticipated anti-mandate 'freedom' movement protests during Canada Day weekend, interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen says her MPs are free to attend.
A barge that ran aground near Vancouver's English Bay last year quickly became an accidental attraction, drawing selfie-seekers and inspiring T-shirt designs. But after seven months, residents seem to have grown weary of its hulking presence on the shoreline.
Ukraine's largest LGBTQ rights event, KyivPride, is going ahead on Saturday. But not on its native streets and not as a celebration.
An Amber Alert issued by Cape Breton Regional Police on Friday has been cancelled, as the missing youth has been located safe early Saturday morning says police.
The inquiry into Nova Scotia’s 2020 mass shooting, says four pages of handwritten notes that sparked a political firestorm in Ottawa this week, weren’t immediately submitted when subpoenaed by its investigators.
'It’s in shambles': RCMP 'architects of own demise,' says criminologist after complaints in N.B. and N.S.
After a week of criticism and anger at the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia, and outcry in a rural area of New Brunswick, there are questions about the RCMP’s role in community policing.
Dozens of people gathered outside the U.S. consulate in downtown Toronto Saturday to protest a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court to overturn constitutional protection for abortion rights.
Office workers are returning to Toronto but foot traffic on Mondays and Fridays hasn’t bounced back. Will it ever?
More people are commuting to offices downtown than at any point since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but the recovery hasn’t been equal across the board, with both GO Transit and the TTC reporting fluctuations in ridership as many workers choose to work from home at the beginning and end of each week.
Every Monday, Mark Powell drives to the Burlington, Ont., pork plant where his wife died to give water to pigs on their way to slaughter.
Paramedics in Greater Montreal are stretched particularly thin this weekend, with nearly half the territory's ambulances parked due to a staffing shortage.
Police on Montreal's South Shore has located the suspect vehicle they say was involved in a hit-and-run that left a woman dead.
Friends and family of a 17-year-old girl who died in what police are calling an accident on the shore in LaSalle gathered Saturday to remember the Montreal teen who her mother said was 'was full of life.'
Nipissing-Timiskaming Liberal MP Anthony Rota said he was shocked by Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling.
With hundreds of students from India who attend Northern College, and other professionals from India who've moved to the city to work, organizers said they felt it was time to bring everyone together to celebrate their culture with the rest of the community.
A group of friends doing work on a camp in MacGregor Bay helped contain what could have been a devastating fire in Killarney Provincial Park.
A motorcyclist was airlifted to the hospital with unknown injuries Saturday morning following a crash in Bayham, Ont.
The identity of a pedestrian who died after being struck by a vehicle on Walpole Island has been released by police.
The Chatham-Kent police Major Crime Unit is working alongside the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office to determine the cause of a house fire after a body was found inside the home.
Using a trailer or an RV is an easy way for people to get out of the city and into the outdoors, but with soaring gas prices, the cost of driving with one has gone up drastically.
Winnipeg was once again pummelled by rain on Friday and the city came close to setting a rainfall record.
No one was injured but one pet died after an early morning fire Saturday.
A fire at a townhouse complex in Kitchener Friday night has resulted in extensive damage.
Many in Waterloo Region are reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and what it could mean for Canada.
Norfolk County OPP are investigating after they say a pedestrian was found on the side of a road and had to be airlifted to hospital.
Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 321 yards and Malik Henry scored a third-quarter, go-ahead touchdown for the Calgary Stampeders in a 30-23 win over the visiting Edmonton Elks on Saturday.
Nearly 100 Ukrainian members of Calgary’s community marched in protest calling for the release of Azovstal Iron and steel workers, defending Mariupol from Russian attacks.
After the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away constitutional protections for abortion Friday by overturning Roe v. Wade, NDP Leader Rachel Notley demanded that everyone running to become the next leader of the UCP clarify their stance on the issue.
When Ennio Muzzolini walked into Christies Mayfair Bakery in 1965 interested in purchasing the small bakery on 33rd Street, he never imagined he’d one day be looking on as hundreds of people lined the block to get their hands on a baguette, cinnamon bun or wood-fired pizza.
Organizers have decided to cancel the Elk Ridge Open due to an “inordinate amount of rain.”
A Saskatoon man whose family helped to build the Waterhen Lake Church is planning to help rebuild the church.
Fans leaving the Garth Brooks concert at Commonwealth Stadium Friday night were happy and smiling, despite some logistical issues that delayed the show and frustrated some.
A Member of Parliament from rural Alberta went live on Facebook Friday to celebrate a United States Supreme Court vote to end constitutional protections for abortion.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of Edmonton City Hall Saturday to celebrate the first large Pride event in the city in four years, and the first one in Churchill Square in eight.
As the first sustained heat of the season settles in across B.C.'s south coast, Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a special weather statement advising people of high temperatures and humidex values through Monday.
Metro Vancouver is experiencing its first stretch of hot summer weather this weekend and people are scouring stores looking for air conditioners and fans to cool off – some being met with empty shelves.
The family of a Vancouver police officer who died by suicide is suing the department, alleging she endured sexual assault and exploitation enabled by an "unsafe workplace culture and insufficient policies and procedures," court documents show.
Over 400 people contributed to the Field of Dreams project, which led to the purchase of a large track of prairie grasslands for preservation.
The Saskatchewan NDP will elect its next leader at a convention on Sunday.
Saskatchewan RCMP are investigating after a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 5 in Wadena.