Ice Storm Update No. 2

I spoke to senior Toronto Hydro staff this morning and they advised that power has been restored to 72,500 homes but 227,560 customers remain without power this morning.

For an up-to-date map of affected areas, please visit http://www.torontohydro.com/sites/electricsystem/PowerOutages/Pages/OutageMap.aspx.

Many thanks to all those who contacted my office about power outages, downed power lines and other storm-related issues. Like many of you, my house remains without power.

I escalated each and every issue brought to my attention to senior Toronto Hydro staff and asked that it be prioritized.

Toronto Hydro crews continue to work around the clock and hope to have full service restored by Friday. Unfortunately, Toronto Hydro was unable to give me any specific time lines for affected areas in Ward 25. Crews are prioritizing public safety issues, such as downed power lines, as well as restoring power to hospitals, such as Sunnybrook, and the TTC.

If you want to report a power outage, downed power line or other hydro-related emergency, please call Toronto Hydro’s Lights Out Line at (416) 542-8000. Please have patience as you may have difficulty getting through due to a high call volume.

Transportation Services reports that approximately 100 traffic signals are not working. If traffic signals are out, treat the affected intersections as a four-way stop. Crews continue to salt collector and local roads and sidewalks.

Emergency services – Fire, EMS and Police — are operating and managing increased call volumes. EMS alone has experience a 53% surge in call volumes. Please only call 911 in an emergency for non-emergencies please call 416-808-2222. Residents who use home oxygen and have concerns can call 416-310-2222 for assistance.

The TTC has made progress restoring service with streetcar service resuming on all routes. Currently, there is no service on the Sheppard subway line or on the Bloor Danforth subway line from Woodbine to Kennedy or on the Scarborough RT as a result of hydro issues and storm clean up. Shuttle buses are running. Please check www.ttc.ca for updates and service alerts.

The City has nine Reception Centres where residents in need of assistance can get food, water, warmth and rest. Pets are also welcome. Please find the full list of reception centres below:

  • Dennis R Timbrell Community Centre, 29 St. Denis Drive (Eglinton/DonMills)
  • Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Rd, (Neilson/Finch)
  • Agincourt Community Centre, 31 Glen Walford Rd (Sheppard/Midland)
  • Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane Street (between Finch and Steeles)
  • Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Avenue (Yonge/Finch)
  • Joseph P Piccinini Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Avenue West (St Clair/Keele)
  • Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard Street East (Pape/Gerrard)
  • Franklin Horner Community Centre, 432 Horner Avenue (Kipling/Lakeshore)
  • 2 Civic Centre Court – Adjacent to Etobicoke Community Centre (West Mall and 427)

Community centres with power will be open as usual and those without power will be closed. Similarly, Toronto Public Library branches with power will be open and those without will not.

In Ward 25, Northern District and Locke Library are open today, but Don Mills is not. For a full list of open and closed branches, please visit http://torontopubliclibrary.typepad.com/news_releases/2013/12/library-closures.html.

Residents are reminded to keep children and pets inside, avoid driving if possible and consider working from home. If you must go out, please exercise caution on the roads and sidewalks. Please also offer help to elderly neighbours or those who might need assistance. If you have power, please consider inviting friends and neighbours into your home to keep warm.

The following are some tips for dealing with a power outage:

  • Unplug or turn off all appliances to avoid possible damage when power resumes
  • Turn off water to the clothes washer and dishwasher if they are in use when the power goes out
  • Leave a light or radio on so you will know when power is restored
  • When power has been restored, check all fuses to ensure that none have been blown, before calling Toronto Hydro
  • Plug in only the most essential appliances first, and wait 10 to 15 minutes to give the electrical system time to stabilize before connecting everything else.

After power is restored, try to limit electricity use to help relieve potential strain on the system. Energy conservation tips include:

  • Turning off all non-essential internal and external lights
  • Limiting the use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers, washers and dryers

During a power outage, food kept in the refrigerator or freezer may become unsafe to eat. The following tips can help ensure food is stored safely in the event of a power outage:

  • Keep your refrigerator door closed to maintain the temperature inside. Without power, the refrigerator section will keep foods cool for four to six hours – if the door is kept closed.
  • Throw out perishable foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and leftovers that have been at temperatures above 4°C for more than two hours.
  • Keep your freezer door closed to maintain the temperature inside. Without power, an upright or chest freezer that is completely full will keep food frozen for about 48 hours – if the door is kept closed. A half-full freezer will keep food frozen for about 24 hours.
  • Foods that have thawed in the freezer may be refrozen if they still contain ice crystals or are at 4°C or below – evaluate each item separately.
  • If possible, add bags of ice to the refrigerator and freezer to keep temperatures cooler for a longer period
  • Discard any items in the freezer or refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices
  • If you are in doubt about whether a food item has spoiled, throw it out.
  • Contact your doctor or pharmacist for information about proper storage of medication that requires refrigeration, such as insulin

For more information about when to keep and when to throw out refrigerated foods, visit www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/foodsafe/homefood.html

A number of residents have also contacted my office about tree branches. I just spoke to the Director of Urban Forestry and he advised that a debris management plan is in the works and should be communicated shortly.

For the latest updates, please check my Facebook and Twitter.

As always, please don’t hesitate with any other questions or concerns.

Best regards,
Jaye

Tagged on: