On Saturday, May, 21, 2022, a destructive storm ravaged parts of Ontario and Quebec, killing at least eight people and leaving thousands without power. The hardest hit by this storm, officially classified as a derecho, was Ottawa and surrounding area.
Four Utilities Kingston trucks and five employees are currently in the Ottawa area supporting the recovery efforts after the long-weekend storm. According to the utility company, when they called employees and asked if they were willing to travel to Ottawa to assist, they all volunteered to provide whatever assistance they could.
“There is a group called the Ontario Mutual Aid Group (OMAG) that coordinates the responses during emergency situations like this,” explained David Fell, President and CEO of Utilities Kingston. “They have a phone directory that contacts the designated representatives from each of the hydro companies. There was a call on Saturday evening to identify which areas needed assistance and our Manager of Hydro Business and Services participated in the call. He checked in to confirm that we did not have any damage in our territory [locally in Kingston], and then asked our crews who might be available to help. This is a very important organization for us to belong to because, although we escaped any damage to our infrastructure locally, if we did encounter problems in the future we would be able to request mutual aid from others.”
The journeypersons may be in the capital city area for up to a week restoring power and cleaning up the aftermath. Utilities Kingston stated that the situation on the ground is always changing, and it’s not possible to provide an accurate idea of how many people are currently without power, or how long the Utilities Kingston employees will stay in the Ottawa area.
“We really want to thank our employees for being willing to give up time from their families and provide assistance,” Fell expressed. “We are very proud of them and appreciate their effort and commitment to help our neighbours.”