We've had a few updates from City staff this afternoon, so I'm sending them along.
This holiday weekend, please monitor my social media for more updates:
The City of Ottawa is opening the following facilities for the public's use to charge devices, use washrooms, or simply keep warm. Here are some in or close to Ward 8:
NEW: Bell Centennial Arena, 50 Cassidy Rd, Nepean. Opening Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Drinks and snacks will be available.
Trees, limbs and brush
Moving forward, Forestry’s work will be a primary focus. Forestry Services has received over 1,600 requests for service since Wednesday. Reports are coming in from all over the city, but mature neighbourhoods with larger trees appear to have been highly affected.
Staff are triaging calls and prioritizing work to address downed trees and broken or hanging limbs that are blocking streets or that may otherwise pose a hazard to residents or property. Staff are also out checking parks and play structures for trees that may pose a risk.
Once hazards and streets are cleared, staff and contractors will address broken limbs, non-hazardous removals, re-inspections, pruning and brush/wood cleanup.
By now, we know that this cleanup will be a multi-week effort requiring plenty of resources. We thank residents for their patience, and for staying safely away from precarious limbs and trees.
A reminder: Property owners do not need a permit to remove dead or hazardous trees on their private property where the tree is an immediate threat to public health and safety. Photos should be taken prior to removal of dead or hazardous trees in such cases to provide evidence of the condition of the tree and the reason for exemption.
Waste and tree debris collection/disposal
Just as we’re focused on trees, limbs and brush, we know residents are cleaning up, too. Tree cuttings, branches and brush may be placed at the curb for chipping or collection, separate from non-organic waste and tied with twine in bundles, if possible. Residents are reminded to not stack or lean branches, limbs or brush on trees, utility poles or other structures, and to keep curbside waste materials at least 1.5 metres away from fire hydrants to ensure access for our firefighters.
Again, residents are asked to be patient, as this chipping and/or collection by City crews and contracted services will take some time.
Starting tomorrow (Friday, April 7), tipping fees at the City’s landfill site at the Trail Waste Facility are being temporarily waived for residents with tree-cuttings, brush and branches due to the storm. The Trail Waste Facility is open Monday to Friday from 7 am to 6 pm. On Good Friday (Friday, April 7) and Easter Monday (Monday, April 10), it is open from 9 am to 5 pm, and it is also open on Saturday, April 15 from 8 am to 4 pm.
Due to the holiday, curbside waste collection continues today and Saturday. For those few streets where downed trees or wires prevent our safe passage, we ask that residents keep their garbage, recycling and green bins at the curb for pick up tomorrow.
We’re monitoring the risks of food spoilage due to prolonged power outages, and will advise of targeted collection if necessary. For now, residents are encouraged to use their green bin, and to consider public health guidance on food safety during an outage.
We’re working closely with our utility partners to address traffic signals that remain without power. Thankfully, no signal poles are down or in need of replacement due to the weather event. Still, there are about 23 signals without power, and 30 being run on temporary generators in locations across the city.
Residents are reminded that a flashing or powerless traffic signal should be treated as a four-way stop.
Roads, sidewalks and the winter cycling network
Proactive measures and rising temperatures mean that our transportation network is in good condition today, and the Significant Weather Event (SWE) declaration is being lifted. Residents are reminded to continue exercising caution while using the transportation network due to fallen trees, branches and debris.
Regular road maintenance activities have resumed and concentrated street sweeping will proceed tomorrow, as scheduled. Crews continue to assist with fallen trees and debris that are blocking sidewalks, pathways and roads. Likewise, we continue to monitor areas that are prone to localized flooding and drainage issues.