Tornado emergency response info

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – Following the severe weather event in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 21, emergency crews are concentrating their response in the hardest hit areas of the city, including:

  • Dunrobin
  • Craig Henry
  • Arlington Woods
  • Hunt Club-Riverside area
  • Paul Anka-McCarthy area


There are approximately 97,500 Hydro Ottawa  customers without power, and an additional 2,000 Hydro One customers. The Merivale Transformer Station was severely damaged and Hydro Ottawa  has reported that it could be several days before power is fully restored.

Until power is restored, Ottawa residents are advised to:

  • Stay away from loose or dangling electrical lines.
  • Ensure you have sufficient supplies in your home for at least three days. The City has several checklists to help. Consider going to areas east of Bronson Avenue to seek food, fuel and other services.
  • Use a flashlight instead of candles. If you must use candles, use proper candleholders and never leave lit candles unattended.
  • Turn the thermostat(s) down to minimum and unplug all appliances, electronic equipment and tools to prevent injury, damage to equipment and fire.
  • If you live in an apartment, do not use the elevator.

For hydro information consult the Hydro Ottawa website or its Twitter account.

Emergency Shelter and lodging sites

If you require immediate assistance due to a life-threatening situation, please call 9-1-1.

  • Displaced residents in the Dunrobin area can go to the emergency shelter and lodging site at West Carleton High School, 3088 Dunrobin Road.
  • Displaced residents in the Hunt Club/Riverside area and the Hunt Club-Greenbank area can go to the emergency reception and lodging site at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex, 1500 Shea Road.



O-Train Trillium Line has resumed full service.

When to call 3-1-1

  • To report storm related issues
  • If you have a medical device which requires power or to be charged
  • For transportation to an emergency shelter
  • To report fallen trees to the City of Ottawa, you may call 3-1-1. However, if you do not require immediate assistance, please consider calling later.

Travelling Safety

Watch for debris and be careful on the roads and sidewalks. 

Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians

The Province of Ontario has activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program.


The Canadian Red Cross is working to coordinate emergency relief efforts and get help to people in affected areas as quickly as possible. Money raised will be used to respond to the immediate and/or emerging needs in and around the affected areas. You can make a financial donation to the Ottawa-Gatineau Tornado Appeal – Ottawa Area or the Ottawa-Gatineau Tornado Appeal – Gatineau Area:

  • by calling 1-800-418-1111
  • by contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office

People in the Ottawa area who are looking for family members who have been displaced because of the tornado are encouraged to call 613-239-4590.


Residents can access power and services, such as showers, at all open City facilities, including libraries, community centres and recreation centres.

  • Earl Armstrong Arena, 2020 Ogilvie Road – Open until 10pm
  • Goulbourn Recreation Complex, 1500 Shea Road – Open until 10pm
  • Howard Darwin Centennial Arena, 1765 Merivale Road – Open until 10pm
  • John G Mlacak Community Centre, 2500 Campeau Drive – Open until 10pm
  • Larry Robinson Arena, 2785 8th Line Road – Open until 2am

Food Safety

Residents without power should avoid opening the refrigerator door to keep its contents cold. Food in most freezers should remain frozen for 24 to 48 hours without power. If perishable food thaws in the freezer, it can be used safely as long as it stays cold. It is best to cook it within a day. Don’t eat thawed food that has remained at room temperature for more than 2 hours. When in doubt, throw it out!

Food Trucks

All licensed and registered food trucks are permitted and encouraged to provide service to residents in the affected areas. Trucks can park on-street, but if parking on private property, obtain permission from the owner in advance.


Due to safety concerns within those areas affected by the storm, the City is not currently seeking any help from volunteers. Once the areas are deemed safe, the City will issue a call for volunteers if needed. We thank all residents that have already offered their time and help.

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