Parts of the province facing power outages could see electricity restored days after Christmas. Here is a handy guide of numbers to call, hospital updates and safety tips:
Reporting downed power lines
Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines said Tuesday there are 40 feeder stations offline and he expressed concern that 30 kilometers per hour winds could cause “additional damage.”
Hydro One customers are being asked to call 1-800-434-1235 to report a downed power line. This map provides up to date information of power outages facing Hydro One customers.
Toronto Hydro is asking people not to call in to report outages in order to leave phone lines open for reports of downed wires. The number to call to report downed wires: 416-542-8000. Here is the latest power outage map for the Toronto area.
What to do about fallen trees
Toronto Hydro is advising customers to call the city’s Urban Forestry Services at 416-338- TREE (8733). An emergency dispatch can be contacted by dialing the same number for after-hour emergencies involving fallen trees. Currently, 78 forestry and 100 debris crews were working in Toronto.
There were 111 carbon monoxide-related calls in Toronto on Monday evening, where normally there are 20 on a given night. Two were serious cases. “We must emphasize: do not, do not use generators or barbecues indoors. This is causing major carbon monoxide problems for fire and emergency medical services [EMS],” Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said.
The Toronto Fire Services said over-use of candles represented a carbon monoxide danger as well as a fire risk. Earlier, on the mayor's Twitter feed, residents were advised to make sure their carbon monoxide detectors had sufficient batteries.
Don’t touch sagging power lines, or prop them up with lumber poles, says the Electrical Safety Authority, because it is very dangerous. Trees may be electrified.
The ESA also says that power can run through the ground – and so it is important to stay away from downed power lines.
Winds could pick up again causing more trees to snap and fall – creating more electricity problems.
In the Niagara region, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority warns against flooding from melting snow and rising water levels from rain.
Flickering lights and outages
Crews testing power lines could result in lights flickering and does not mean electricity is about to be cut, says Toronto Hydro. Also, if you’re wondering why your neighbour’s power is still on while yours is not, Toronto Hydro says that not every house on a street shares the same electrical equipment.
Toronto Public Health has these handy tips: food in the freezer will keep for 24 to 48 hours; food in the refrigerator will keep for 12 to 24 hours. Anything past those time frames will require the food to be thrown out and the appliances cleaned and sanitized. More information here.
Toronto’s emergency services are reminding residents to only call 911 for health, police and fire emergencies. The non-emergency number for the Toronto Police Service is 416-808-2222. On Monday, there were 3,100 EMS calls compared to 800 on a normal night.
The Ontario government web site is providing hospital updates.
Etobicoke General Hospital: no issues
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre: power restored.
East General Hospital: normal power restored.
Brampton Civic Hospital: no issues
The Scarborough Hospital: no issues
Ajax-Pickering Hospital site: no issues
Lakeridge Health (Oshawa and Bowmanville sites): power restored but staying in "code gray" as precaution.
North York General: main site online; no impact to patient care and all services available. Seniors health centre running on two generators.
Markham Stouffville Hospital: fully operational
Branson Urgent Care Centre: fully operational
Brantford General Hospital: on normal power
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton: back on normal power
McMaster Children's Hospital: no issues reported.
Residents in Toronto who depend on home oxygen and are worried can call 416-310-2222 for help.
The Toronto District School Board says all Early Learning and Child Care Centres operated by the city will be closed Tuesday.
All Toronto Catholic District School Board facilities and daycare centres will be closed Monday and Tuesday.
Toronto Children's Services is planning to send kids home at locations where power is off.
The number of Toronto community housing building without power now stands at 37 – down from 62.
Between 300 and 400 traffic signals are without power in Toronto.
Working with the Red Cross, Toronto has opened seven warming centres where residents can access heat, food, water and rest. About 750 people stayed overnight in warming centers around the city Monday. The centres will be open 24 hours:
Dennis R Timbrell Community Centre: 29 St. Denis Drive (Eglinton/Don Mills)
Malvern Community Centre: 30 Sewells Road (Neilson/Rd/Finch)
Agincourt Community Centre: 31 Glen Walford Road (Sheppard/Midland)
Don Montgomery Community Centre: 2467 Eglinton Avenue East (Eglinton/Midland)
Driftwood Community Centre: 4401 Jane Street (between Finch and Steeles)
Mitchell Field Community Centre: 89 Church Avenue (Yonge/Finch)
Joseph J Piccininni Community Centre: 1369 St Clair Avenue West (St Clair/Keele)
While Toronto has increased the number of warming centers to include police stations, other municipalities are also making plans for the cold snap:
Richmond Hill: all community centers are open for regular hours Tuesday. Residents are invited to drop in during the day to warm up and charge electronic devices. Free wireless internet is also available. Two centers will remain open overnight for to accommodate residents: Richvale Community Centre (160 Avenue Road) and Oak Ridges Community Centre (12895 Bayview Avenue)
Vaughan: Dufferin Clark Community Centre, 1441 Clark Ave. W., Concord, will stay open throughout the night. But the following sites will close at midnight: Maple Community Centre, 10190 Keele St., and Vellore Village Community Centre, 1 Villa Royale Ave.
Markham: all community centers open until 11 p.m. and residents can use shower facilities. Two centers will stay open all night: Milliken Mills and Thornhill Community Centres.
Burlington: overnight warming center has been set-up at Haber Recreation Centre, 3040 Tim Dobbie Dr.
Hamilton: two warming centers operating during the day at Huntington Park Recreation Centre - 87 Brentwood Dr. and North Wentworth Arena - 27 Hwy #5, Flamborough.
Brampton: four overnight warming centers at South Fletcher’s Sportsplex, 500 Ray Lawson Boulevard and Earnscliffe Recreation Centre, 44 Eastbourne Drive, Jim Archdekin Recreation Centre, 292 Conestoga Drive (no cots) and Gore Meadows Community Centre and Library, 10150 The Gore Road (no cots).
There are also the following warming centers for day and evening use: City Hall, 2 Wellington Street West (until 4:30 p.m.), Chinguacousy Wellness Centre, 995 Peter Robertson Boulevard (until 10 p.m.) and Century Gardens Recreation Centre, 340 Vodden Street (until 10 p.m.)
Halton Hills: two warming centers at the Acton Fire Hall, located at 19 Willow Avenue, and the Halton Regional Police Services building, 217 Guelph Street in Georgetown.
While some libraries still remain closed due to the power outage, most Toronto libraries – about 77 branches – are open Tuesday for holiday hours until 1 p.m. and can be used as warming centers. For a list of which branches are open, visit the following site.
The TTC’s Sheppard subway line is expected to be back up and running by noon. Check here for updates.
Malls open for pre-Christmas shopping include the The Eaton Centre, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Scarborough Town Centre and Sherway Gardens.