Hydro Ottawa says electricity has been restored to Ottawa's "bulk power grid" after nine days of work to repair the damage to the hydro infrastructure following a powerful storm.
Now, crews are focusing on "smaller pockets" of outages where tree contacts, damage to equipment and other interference is responsible for leaving 9,000 homes and businesses still not connected to the grid.
As of 8 p.m. Sunday, 9,000 customers across the city remained without power following the storm that hit Ottawa with wind gusts of 190 km/h on May 21. Hydro Ottawa says since the storm hit, approximately 94 per cent of the 100,000 customers impacted by the storm have had their power restored.
In a memo to council, Hydro Ottawa president and CEO Bryce Conrad said the priority has been restoring the "bulk power grid", with "a goal of flowing power to each and every circuit in our territory."
"Earlier today, we were able to complete that task," Conrad said.
"To be very clear, there are still 9,000 customers that are not connected to the grid – owing to various tree contacts, damage to equipment or other interference. With the bulk grid operational, our crews will now turn to those smaller pockets of outages."
Hydro crews from Toronto, Kingston, London and New Brunswick have been assisting Hydro Ottawa crews. Conrad said another 50 contractors joined the effort on Sunday, and more are expected to arrive on Monday.
"I fully appreciate the level of frustration and anger that many of you are dealing with and will continue to deal with until the restoration is complete," Conrad said. "All of our resources – internal staff, contractors and neighbouring utility workers – will remain fully engaged and deployed until such time as we have connected every resident and business in Ottawa."
More than a dozen schools will remain closed in Ottawa on Monday due to the power outages, and the city of Ottawa is opening "one-stop shops" for community support information.
Hydro Ottawa said this weekend that with crews in the "last phase of restoration efforts", they are focusing on the following areas today.
Some sections of Alta Vista ward were coming back online Sunday evening. Hydro Ottawa said the "scoping of work has been completed" in Alta Vista and crews will be onsite Sunday night and Monday to restore neighbourhoods.
Frustration has been building across Ottawa this weekend, as residents spend a second weekend without power following the May 21 storm.
Muglia insists Hydro Ottawa will continue to work 24/7 until the entire grid is restored.
"We are hoping that the residents can bear with us a bit longer," Muglia said.
"This was such a widespread hit to our city. There's a tremendous amount of trees on wires and broken poles that we are still dealing with."
Muglia adds Hydro Ottawa has not forgotten the 18,000 customers still without power.
"There are residents that feel we have forgotten about them. I can guarantee you we have not forgotten about them," Muglia said Saturday.
"We are aware of every feeder that has disruption to it. Even though you may see a street over from you, a street that has power and you don't – rest assured, we have not forgotten anybody."
Hydro One is reporting just under 12,000 customers across Ontario remain without power Sunday morning. The utility says it has switched on more than 750,000 customers since the storm last Saturday.
Whie progress is being made, Hydro One warns that some of the most remote areas may be waiting several more days, or possibly weeks, to have power restored.
More than 1,900 hydro poles were destroyed by the storm.
Hydro Quebec reported 6,300 customers across the province remained without power Sunday morning, the majority of which are in the Laurentides area. In the Outaouais region, just under 1,000 customers have yet to be hooked back up to the grid. The majority of customers in Gatineau have had power restored; however, there are outages scattered across the Outaouais region in places like La Peche and Val-des-Monts.
The Ottawa Carleton District School Board and Ottawa Catholic School Board say schools will open for in-person learning on Monday if they have power.
Schools will open on Monday if power has been restored to the building by 3 p.m. Sunday.
Details on school bus route cancellations are available on the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority website.
All organics only waste bins have been removed from the 15 sites across the city.
For information on waste disposal options, visit the city of Ottawa's website.
The city of Ottawa launched a new neighbourhood cleanup program, called "Cleaning the Capital: After the Storm."
Much like the annual Cleaning the Captial Program, neighbours, families and friends can work together to cleanup their neighbourhood following the storm. Residents are asked to complete the electronic registration form for the "Cleaning the Capital" program.
Supplies will be available for pickup as of Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., at the following locations:
The city is also in partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, a non-government organization, and will provide support to residents who have been impacted on their private property. For more information, visit samaritanspurse.ca/ottawavolunteer.
Volunteers are asked to bring the following:
Please do not bring your own equipment or tools to a Samaritan’s Purse project.