Hamilton cleans up after wild summer storm
As of Saturday afternoon, 14,000 customers still without power: Horizon Utilities
Hamilton is cleaning up after Friday's wild summer storm, which dumped 53.6 mm of precipitation on the city and downed both trees and power lines.
"We've had at least 100 calls overnight about wires coming down because of fallen trees" and hydro poles, said Claudio Mostacci, a spokesperson for the Hamilton Fire Department.
"Fortunately," he said, though the storm inflicted "lots of damage," it didn't cause any "catastrophic" fires.
As of Saturday afternoon, 14,000 customers across the city were still without power, according to Horizon Utilities.
Neil Freeman, a spokesperson for the company, said regular service is expected to be restored by 11:30 p.m.
"It's very severe storm repair," he said. "Crews are working around the clock. The issue is that very large trees were toppled and pulled down the wires."
Freeman said residents should never approach or attempt to drive over fallen power lines, and should instead called the company's emergency line at 905-522-6611.
Police were also busy on Saturday helping Hamilton recover from the storm.
"We responded overnight, just in the central area, to over 300 calls overnight," said Division One acting staff sergeant Andrew Toms. "We're absolutely swamped with calls about roads blocked with trees."
Due to power outages, traffic lights were out at several intersections across the lower city. Police, he said, are reminding citizens to treat intersections with non-operational traffic lights as all-way stops.
"We've had so many near misses today," he said.
The thunderstorms, experienced across much of the province, capped off a week of 30-plus-degree heat in the city. During the storms, Environment Canada issued tornado watches and warnings for many regions in southern Ontario, including Hamilton, but no tornadoes were reported to have touched down.
Calmer weather is in store for Saturday and Sunday. Environment Canada predicts partly cloudy skies for most of the weekend, with highs of 28 C and 24 C on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Many Hamiltonians posted pictures of the aftermath to social media. Here's what they saw: