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Outages persist across Ontario and Quebec, toll rises

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Power outages caused by the powerful and deadly storm that swept across Ontario and Quebec on Saturday are stretching into another day, as hydro providers warned customers they could be waiting even longer for service to be fully restored.


Hydro Ottawa’s chief executive said Monday that their distribution system had been “crushed,” noting the 187 poles downed during the storm not only exceeds the number the city traditionally puts down in a year but also tops the number felled during the 1998 ice storm and 2018 tornado.


The lack of power prompted the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board to close all schools and child-care centres on Tuesday due to ongoing safety concerns posed by the storm, saying in a notice to parents that about half of their schools were without power.


By early Tuesday morning, Hydro Ottawa was reporting about 74,000 customers were still without power, while provincial provider Hydro One had more than 148,000 customers still affected by outages.

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Hydro One says that the damage includes more than 1,400 broken poles, 300 broken crossarms and nearly 200 damaged transformers. In the Ottawa area, Hydro One crews are re-building three transmission towers that were damaged by the storm.

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Across the provincial boundary, Hydro-Quebec was reporting about 133,000 customers were still without power Tuesday morning, down from a peak of more than 550,000 stretching from Gatineau to Quebec City.


The Ontario communities of Clarence-Rockland, east of Ottawa and Uxbridge, northeast of Toronto, remain under a state of emergency as a result of the damage, with some buildings reduced to rubble and streets blocked by uprooted trees, downed power lines and broken telephone poles.


The death toll has now climbed to at least 10, with Peterborough Police confirming Monday that a 61-year-old Lakefield man died during the storm after being struck by a falling tree.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2022.

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