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ice storm

Tribune photo

City public works employee David Thurgar scopes out fallen wires on Liverpool Street in the aftermath of the ice storm that hit Guelph over the weekend. Many local people were without power for hours Sunday and even into Monday as crews worked to repair the damage caused by the storm. A number of city facilities were closed due to the storm, and people were urged to stay home and off the roads as crews worked to clear icy streets. City hall and the West End Community Centre were kept open through the night for anyone without power who needed a place to warm up.

Ice storm kills power to hundreds of homes

Downed trees and branches left hundreds of local people without power in the aftermath of the weekend’s ice storm.

“At the height of the storm, we had about 900 customers without power in Guelph and Rockwood,” said Guelph Hydro spokesperson Sandy Manners.

By Monday morning, the number had dropped to around 50 customers, all of whom could expect to have their hydro restored by the end of the day, she said.

Fallen trees and branches were to blame for most of the issues, including problems with a Hydro One feeder line into Rockwood that left the entire village without power for 24 hours, Manners said.

Power was restored to the village by around 10:30 or 11 p.m. Sunday, she said.

There was plenty of warning that the storm was coming, and the hydro company did its best to prepare for the expected flood of service calls.

“We had our crews on call and our customer service representatives on call, ready to come in if we needed them,” said Manners.

They also worked to keep people updated through social media throughout the storm.

“We were tweeting up a storm,” Manners said.

The hydro company wasn’t the only one tweeting about the storm. The city sent out regular updates, letting people know that city crews were also hard at work salting and sanding roads.

The city also asked people to stay off the roads and sidewalks if possible, and warned them to beware of overhead tree branches at risk of breaking from the weight of the ice.

At least 150 downed trees were reported, and there were several road closures as a result, a city news release said.

From Dec. 21 to 22, Guelph Police responded to 108 calls for dangerous situations involving downed trees, branches and power lines, as well as traffic light issues, a news release said. They also investigated 19 collisions over the two days, it said.

The city provided free transit Sunday afternoon, to make sure that people could get home safely. Anyone still without power on Sunday night was offered refuge at city hall and the West End Community Centre, which were kept open all night while other city facilities were shut down.

Over the next few days, there will likely be some lingering work to do cleaning up fallen branches, and residents are being advised to bring branches and trees that went down on their properties to the Waste Resource Innovation Centre at 110 Dunlop Dr. during public drop-off hours.

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