Christmas without power for hundreds of Hamiltonians

Hundreds of Hamiltonians remain without power Christmas Day, four days after an ice storm moved through southern Ontario. Some won't get it back until Boxing Day.

Some households won't get power back until Boxing Day

A Horizon Utilities worker works to repair the power at Fennell and Upper Sherman Monday morning. Hundreds of Hamilton residents are still without power after an ice storm moved through southern Ontario over the weekend. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Hundreds of Hamilton families who have been without power since the weekend spent a Christmas without heat or electricity.

For some, the power returned Christmas Day, just in time to rescue some part of their holiday.

Fewer than 1,000 households still were without power at the end of Christmas Day, as Hydro One crews brought power back to roughly 2,000 households between late Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

For those still without power, Hydro One is saying power won't be restored until late on Boxing Day.

Earlier, as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, 6448 Hydro One customers in Hamilton's rural and suburban areas were experiencing power outages, down from about 8,700 customers in the morning and 22,000 Monday morning. 

“We are hoping crews are able to keep their time barring that they don't encounter any difficult situations,” the company's spokesperson Tiziana Baccega Rosa said.

Baccega Rosa said customers who have access to internet can check the power outage map on Hydro One's website for the latest updates. The map shows where crews are working and the estimated restoration time. Customers with access to mobile phones can download a free mobile app to check the status of their power.

About 200 Horizon Utilities customers remained without power for Christmas morning, as of Tuesday down from 1,200 Monday night.

Colder than average Christmas

Larry Roberts, manager of external communications for Horizon Utilities said crews on the ground are facing challenging situations.

“You don't know what you are getting into until you get there."

Saturday's ice storm is comparable to the summer storm in July, which dumped 53.6 millimetres of precipitation and downed both tress and power lines, Robert said. In that storm, 14,000 customers were left without power.

While some Hamilton residents brace for possibly another night in the dark, Environment Canada is warning Hamilton residents to prepare for colder than average temperatures for the Christmas period.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for Hamilton and many parts of southern Ontario Tuesday, noting temperatures have fallen well below freezing Tuesday morning with northwesterly winds of 20 kilometres per hour. The overnight low will drop further to near –15 C for many parts of the region. Temperatures will remain well below freezing on Christmas Day.

The ice left behind from last weekend's storm combined with below-freezing temperatures and moderate winds will cause “considerable impact” for the region for the next few days, Environment Canada says.

In addition, more ice-covered tree branches could fall due to the winds, Environment Canada says. The ice will likely remain on many surfaces through Christmas and Boxing Day until the end of the week.

Those without power are advised to seek warm shelters and prepare for colder than average temperatures.


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