Ice Storm Update No. 4

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

Power remains out for approximately 50,000 homes, down from a peak of 300,000.

It’s been a long a difficult week for all those without power.

Unfortunately, many homes in Ward 25 remain in the dark, particularly in the northern part of the Ward, including the Bayview Avenue corridor and Hoggs Hollow. There are also many isolated pockets and houses across the entire Ward without power.

Frustration doesn’t begin to describe the feelings of many in Ward 25. I have seen amazing acts of kindness among neighbours and I encourage you to continue to assist any of your neighbours in need.

My office continues to work around the clock. I was up until 4:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve and put in 14 hours on Christmas Day, speaking with Toronto Hydro’s CEO Anthony Haines, responding to constituents and trying to help residents in any way that I can.

If you’re still without power and cannot get through to Toronto Hydro, please send me an email with your address in the subject line and I will make sure to bring it to the attention of senior Toronto Hydro staff and advocate on your behalf.

Due to the incredible number of phone calls and emails, I may not be able to respond personally, but I will be certain to forward your address to Toronto Hydro.

Alternatively, if you cannot reach Toronto Hydro at (416) 542-8000 to report an outage, you can do so online if you have access to a computer at http://www.torontohydro.com/sites/electricsystem/PowerOutages/Pages/ReportOutages.aspx.

Unfortunately, Toronto Hydro remains unable to provide any timelines for restoring service to individual houses, streets or neighbourhoods.

If Toronto Hydro is reporting that power in your neighbourhood has been restored but your home remains without power, you should:

  •  Check to see if your neighbours have power, if they don’t, it is likely that more work is to be done on your street.
  • If your home is the only house without electricity, check your electrical panel inside the home to see if the breakers are in the “on” position.
  • Check the electrical service entry outside your home to see if it is damaged or the service wire is “down”.  If the wire is down, please stay back and contact us at 416-542-8000 to report the downed wire.

Freezing Pipes and Radiators

Many residents have asked about radiators and the possibility of freezing. If your heating system is a hot water system and you’re concerned about freezing, you can drain your hot water heating system. If you do not have the necessary know-how, you may need to contact a heating/plumbing professional for assistance.

Similarly, if you don’t have heat in your home and the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a trickle of water so that there is some movement of water in the pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing.

If you are leaving you home, you can shut off the main service valve in your basement and open your lowest tap to drain the water out of your plumbing to prevent them from freezing.

Debris Cleanup and Garbage Pickup

The city anticipates that the clearing of fallen trees and tree debris will begin on December 27. Cleanup will take place at a later date where debris is not obstructing the road.

I have asked about special pick-ups for storm-related debris and waste and will report back when I have more information.

In the meantime, there is no collection on New Year’s Day. This week and next week, curbside collection on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will move forward one day.

This means that Wednesday collection moves to Thursday, Thursday collection moves to Friday, and Friday collection moves to Saturday.

Changes are reflected in the residential collection calendar. Due to downed trees and hydro wires, collection vehicles are not able to reach some areas. There may also be delays. Residents should leave their materials out until they are collected. If required, additional collection crews will work on Monday (not a regularly scheduled collection day).

If you have organic material (food waste) that cannot fit in the Green Bin, please set it out in a clear plastic bag. Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.

I have pasted below information from my previous updates with tips about dealing with a power outage as well as food safety information.

For the latest updates, please check my Facebook (http://facebook.com/robinsonward25)and Twitter (http://twitter.com/jayerobinson).

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

Warm regards,

Jaye

The city’s 12 warming centres continue to operate. Pets are welcome. They are:

  • 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)

In addition, 13 Toronto Police Service facilitates have community rooms available as warming centres around the clock. They are:

  • Division 11 – 2054 Davenport Road (Davenport/Osler)
  • Division 12 – 200 Trethewey Drive (Trethewey/Black Creek)
  • Division 14 – 350 Dovercourt Road (College/Dovercourt)
  • Division 22 – 3699 Bloor Street West (Bloor West/Dundas West)
  • Division 23 – 5230 Finch Avenue West (Kipling/Finch)
  • Division 31 – 40 Norfinch Road (Norfinch/Finch West)
  • Division 33 – 50 Upjohn Road (York Mills/Don Mills)
  • Division 42 – 242 Milner Avenue (Milner/Markham)
  • Division 43 – 4331 Lawrence Ave. E (Lawrence Ave. E/ Kingston Road)
  • Division 51 – 51 Parliament Street (Front/Parliament)
  • Division 52 – 255 Dundas Street West (LOBBY ONLY)
  • Toronto Police Service College – 70 Birmingham Street (Birmingham/Fifth)
  • Toronto Police Service Headquarters – 40 College Street (College/Bay)

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

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