Roads, schools reopen as tornado cleanup continues
Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 11:46 AM - Life is slowly returning to normal for most people in Ottawa-Gatineau after the destruction caused by Friday's tornadoes.
It's now been four days since a pair of twisters hit the capital: one starting in the rural west Ottawa community of Dunbrobin before moving to Gatineau's Mont-Bleu neighbourhood, and the other hitting Nepean's Arlington Woods community before churning east to the Greenboro area.
A third tornado struck Calabogie, Ont., west of Ottawa.
As of 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, hydro crews have restored power to all but approximately 1,000 customers in Nepean, 650 customers in the Outaouais and 350 customers in areas just outside Ottawa covered by Hydro One.
There are two community support centres set up in Ottawa's hardest-hit areas: the Nepean Sportsplex and West Carleton Secondary School.
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The city said the centres will be open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. and will allow affected residents to talk to agencies including Hydro One, the Red Cross and the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Gatineau continues to run a support centre at Centre communautaire Père-Arthur-Guertin, at 16 rue Bériault.
As of Monday afternoon, 1,479 people had registered there and all but seven of 212 evacuated buildings had been turned back over to the owners.
By Monday night, 170 people needed a place to stay in Gatineau: 121 at the support centre and 49 in hotels. That's down from 301 on Sunday night.
Buildings damaged beyond repair in Mont-Bleu are starting to be demolished.
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"Housing is our top priority [today] as it was yesterday," said Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin at the support centre on Tuesday morning.
"We were happy that more people than expected got into hotel rooms and things look even better for tonight … It's tough to sleep here, there's no [privacy], it's way better for them to have some sort of comfort in a hotel."
Anyone who needs a shower can go to the Centre aquatique Paul-Pelletier at 325 ch. Aylmer until 9 p.m. or Centre sportif at 850 blvd de la Gappe until 10 p.m.
SCHOOLS, ROADS MOSTLY OPEN
Ottawa-Gatineau schools and roads are open again, except in the hardest-hit areas.
There are no classes at Knoxdale Public School or West Carleton Secondary School in Ottawa, nor Hadley Junior High School, École secondaire Mont-Bleu and Philemon Wright High School in Gatineau.
Both cities said their road network is mostly back to normal, with closures still in place on Ottawa's Greenbank Road and Thomas Dolan Parkway.
Federal public servants are heading back to work Tuesday after being asked or told to stay home Monday, depending on their department's circumstances.
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MEETING FOR NON-INSURED
The City of Gatineau and the Red Cross have set up two meetings for storm-affected residents who don't have insurance at the salle Jean-Despréz at City Hall. The first happens at 2 p.m. and the second at 6:30 p.m.
There will be free buses running to these meetings from the Père-Arthur-Guertin support centre starting 30 minutes beforehand.
In the Township of Greater Madawaska, where a third tornado hit communities including Calabogie and White Lake on Friday afternoon, residents don't need to buy a fire permit to burn branches and brush until Oct. 9.
The municipal offices on Parnell Street in Calabogie are open again on Tuesday after power was restored there.
Communities are asking that cash donations be made to the Red Cross, which has set up dedicated funds for the area's victims. The Salvation Army is accepting donations of clothing, furniture and household items at its thrift stores.
In Gatineau, donations of clothing, personal hygiene products and non-perishable food are being accepted and distributed from the former Sears store at Galeries de Hull between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, those hours shift from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
NEED TO TOSS SPOILED FOOD?
Residents can toss spoiled food from warm fridges into green bins, or into these bins being provided by the city on a temporary basis:
- 950 Clyde Ave.
- Basin Court in Arlington Woods.
- Conroy Works Yard: 3100 Conroy Rd.
- Hunt Club Community Centre: 3320 Paul Anka Dr.
- Johnny Leroux Arena: 10 Warner Colpitts Ln.
- Kanata Recreation Centre: 100 Charlie Rogers Pl.
- Manotick Arena: 5572 Doctor Leach Dr.
- Minto Sports Complex: 3500 Cambrian Rd.
- Nepean Sportsplex: 1701 Woodroffe Ave.
- North Gower Town Hall: 2155 Roger Stevens Dr.
- Pinecrest Recreation Centre: 2250 Tourquay Ave.
- Richcraft Arena: 4101 Innovation Dr.
- Richmond Arena: 6095 Perth St.
- Tom Brown Arena: 141 Bayview Ave.
- Walter Baker Sports Centre: 100 Malvern Dr.
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This article was originally publishing on CBC.ca