What you need to know about storm cleanup and where to get help

About 1,900 customers in eastern Ontario are still without power Sunday afternoon after the May 21 storm, just 37 of them under Hydro Ottawa.

Around 1,900 eastern Ontario customers still without power after the storm

The debris from a building in an adjacent lumber yard in Clarence-Rockland lies fenced-off behind a broken hydro pole.
The debris from a building in an adjacent lumber yard is pictured in an image made using a drone in the Clarence-Rockland, Ont., community of Hammond May 26, 2022. A major storm hit parts of Ontario and Quebec on May 21. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

About 1,900 customers in eastern Ontario are still without power Sunday afternoon, more than two weeks after a destructive, fatal windstorm swept through the area May 21.

More than 350,000 customers in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region initially lost power. CBC's count was about 115,000 the morning of May 25, 63,000 May 27 and 6,000 on June 2.

On Sunday afternoon, Hydro Ottawa reported that just 37 customers were still without power, compared to 180,000 immediately after the storm. Those numbers include some outages related to planned jobs, required to make repairs or to remove debris, branches or trees, as part of Hydro Ottawa's cleanup after the storm. 

    Hydro One, meanwhile, reported Sunday afternoon that approximately 1,864 customers were without power in eastern Ontario, mostly near Tweed, Ont., and Bancroft, Ont. That's down from Saturday morning when that figure was approximately 2,500 customers. 

      Power has been restored to all but a handful of local Hydro-Québec customers.

      WATCH | Outdoorsman's wood hut saved boys from deadly storm 

      Hawkesbury, Ont., trio survives severe thunderstorm in timber shelter

      2 months ago
      Duration 3:14
      Warning: Video content may be disturbing to some viewers. Avid outdoorsman Tyson Peers was outside working on a timber shelter with his brother Cam Deslauriers, 12, and Cam's friend Miguel Larocque, 11, when a severe thunderstorm hit on May 21.
      The derecho storm's path through southern Ontario and southwestern Quebec on May 21, 2022. (CBC)


      The mayor has reiterated during news conferences that drivers should be courteous and treat intersections with broken traffic lights as four-way stops.

      OC Transpo lists some routes with storm-related detours.

      The National Capital Commission has a list of trails and parkways closed by fallen trees and debris. It asks people to avoid the Greenbelt for the time being.

      Marcel Lepage, left, and son Claude survey the damage to their family home in Bourget, part of Clarence-Rockland, Ont., May 26, 2022. Marcel's wife and Claude's mom Huguette was sitting in the corner of the pictured living room when a major storm hit their home and tore off the roof. Luckily she only sustained minor injuries. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)


      The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)'s Merivale High School reopened Thursday and all schools have returned to in-person learning. 

        The Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) said on Sunday that power had been restored to all of its schools, including Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville, which will be open on Monday. 

        Of the schools under the French Catholic school board in eastern Ontario, Conseil des écoles catholiques Centre-Est (CECCE), only École élémentaire catholique Terre-des-Jeunes in Ottawa remained closed.

        None of the schools under the French public school board in eastern Ontario, Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO), say they remain closed.

        Waste and debris

        Ottawa has advice for disposing of specific types of debris, including trees, stumps and shingles.

        "Photos should be taken before removal to provide evidence of the condition of the tree should there by future inquiries," the city said in previous statements. 

        There's a section on its storm page about what to do if a tree falls from city property on private property. Another section lists ways people can volunteer to help clean.

        Regular curbside pickup is continuing in Ottawa.

        WATCH | Why what hit Ottawa was worse than the ice storm or 2018 tornadoes 

        Saturday’s storm caused more widespread damage than 2018 tornadoes, Hydro Ottawa says

        3 months ago
        Duration 1:26
        Joseph Muglia, director of system operations for Hydro Ottawa, says Saturday’s severe thunderstorm damaged nearly three times the number of hydro poles across a much wider area compared to the 2018 tornadoes, complicating efforts to restore electricity.

        Gatineau asks residents to put tree debris out during bulky wood collection day.

        People in Clarence-Rockland, Ont., can put tree debris out for pickup.The city recommends leaving it on your yard or ditch near the road so equipment doesn't damage driveways.

        Near-empty freezers following a major power outage at a grocery store in Gatineau, Que.'s Aylmer neighbourhood May 26, 2022. A major storm hit parts of Ontario and Quebec on May 21. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

        Other services

        In late May, Tweed said people could come to its municipal office at 255 Metcalf St., to fill water containers.

        Emergency aid for food and potentially medical expenses may be available in Ottawa. They can go online or call 311. Ontario Works recipients can call their case worker.

        People in Gatineau in need of food are asked to call Moisson Outaouais at 819-669-2000, extension 203.

        Renfrew County is offering relief loans to qualifying small businesses.

        All of Ottawa's municipal child-care centres and client service centres are open again. The Centennial and Emerald Plaza Ottawa Public Library branches are open.

        Ottawa residents are asked to only call 311 if it is urgent. Ottawa Public Health says people can call 613-580-6744 for information on food safety and mental health help.

        That city says because of the focus on storm response, other less-urgent operations may have been delayed, like park waste collection, grass mowing and sidewalk repair.

        Have an important closure or support centre we missed? Please send us an email.