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Toronto Hydro says all power outages restored as new reports of blackouts emerge

Toronto Hydro crews continue to repair lines to homes and offices in Scarborough on December 30, 2013.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

Toronto Hydro declared on its Twitter account late Wednesday night that all power outages from last week's devastating ice storm have been restored, but in reality the number of people without electricity is growing again.

Toronto Hydro spokeswoman Tanya Bruckmueller said the city-owned utility is fielding new reports of storm-related blackouts as people return from vacations. There are also dozens of property owners who required repairs to equipment on their properties and are waiting for reconnection. Other people only have partial power because of loose wires or other problems.

Ms. Bruckmueller estimated about 300 storm-related calls remained as of 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. The utility hopes to resolve these power issues by the end of Thursday.

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The temperature in Toronto has turned frigid. Environment Canada issued an extreme weather alert for the city, forecasting the temperature to dip to minus 16 C and remain there through Thursday.

At the height of the ice storm, about 600,000 customers were without power in Ontario, half of whom lived in Toronto. In many cases, ice-coated trees broke apart, tearing down power lines. Electricity was also knocked out to residents in Quebec and New Brunswick.

The Ontario government is distributing grocery-store gift cards to people whose food spoiled during the outage. The government will resume handing out the food vouchers on Thursday, but cautioned supplies of gift cards will be greater Friday.

The government faced criticism Tuesday, when it ran out of gift cards and sent many people who waited in line home empty-handed.

How did you cope with the ice storm and power outages? Share your story here.

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