Ontario recovers after ice storm hits province hard

On Saturday, Dec. 21, most of southwestern Ontario faced an ice storm causing multiple power outages across the province.

More than 1,400 workers from various hydro companies pooled together towards restoring power to more than 160,000 HydroOne customers. By Dec. 27, the final stretch began with 98 per cent of power outages restored. However, areas such as Bolton, Newmarket, Orangeville and Guelph were still without power. Orangeville and Guelph combined had a total of over 2,000 customers still powerless.

The city of Brantford was lucky, according to locals, as it didn’t have to deal with much fallout of the storm other than icy roads. Nicole Bateson, a Brantford local, said, “We may have lost power in the middle of the night, but other than that, we had [power].”

Bateson then mentioned that she had noticed certain parts of Brantford didn’t have power, saying, “It was more towards Eagle Place.”

While the storm hit a lot of the province, Brant County and some of the surrounding regions for the most part remained with power. Local, rural areas were hit the hardest, as trees had fallen onto the roads preventing traffic flow. Farms were running off gas generators just to keep their livestock alive and safe throughout the brisk weather.

“Luckily, we didn’t lose power here.” said Courtney Wood, an Ingersoll resident. “But a friend of mine from Atwood ended up cooking her kids’ lunch on four candles.”

Of all the cities hit, Toronto had a peak of 300,000 families without power, leaving 70,000 still powerless by Christmas morning. By Dec. 27, HyrdoOne dispersed some of its crew to the Scarborough area to assist with the remaining outages in the Toronto area.

The Ontario Newsroom reported $500,000 worth of gift cards were given to Toronto residents to help compensate for the food they lost during the storm. The gifts were made possible by Ontario’s corporate sector with contributors such as Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Metro, and Costco. The cards were distributed until Friday, Jan. 3.

On Sunday, Dec. 29 at 5:30pm, it was reported that approximately 260 HydroOne customers in the Georgian Bay region were still without electricity.

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