The City of Ottawa is encouraging residents to stay off the roads Monday, if possible, in the aftermath of Friday’s terrifying tornado. The province will also be activating the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program in the affected areas.
Ottawa police are advising that the roads continue to be hazardous due to the extensive number of traffic controls not working as well as debris covering the roads.
As of Sunday afternoon, 460 traffic signals were not working and the city is encouraging residents to work from home, if they can. For drivers that have to use the roads, Ottawa is reminding them that intersections without power should be treated as a four-way stop.
Be careful on #OttCity roads as there are still many traffic signals that aren’t working. Remember when you come to an intersection with no power, it is to be treated as a four way stop. #otttraffic #ottnews #ottstorm
— City of Ottawa (@ottawacity) September 24, 2018
The province will also be providing extra support to individuals and businesses in response to the rare tornado.
“Our government is going to make sure that the people of Ottawa are supported with what they need to get back on their feet,” says Premier Doug Ford. “We’ll help get the hydro back on, and support families and businesses in their time of need.”
Affected individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that have experienced property damage or loss as a result of the disaster are eligible to receive help with emergency and recovery expenses.
“I want to assure the residents of Ottawa that our government is working closely with our municipal partners to activate the province’s Disaster Recovery Assistance program where it will be needed,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark. “We are closely monitoring the situation and have a team in the region to assess the damage and determine the exact areas that will qualify for assistance through the program.”
The severe thunderstorm produced a tornado between 4:40 pm and 5:20 pm on Friday. The tornado damaged and destroyed numerous buildings, overturned vehicles and snapped trees and hydro poles, according to Environment Canada.
Multiple injuries were reported, including several that were critically injured. The preliminary assessment of the environment indicated that the tornado was a high-end EF-3 (Enhanced Fujita) and that wind speeds reached 265 km/h.