Severe rain and wind storms battered Kingston and its surrounding areas on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, causing severe damage to electrical infrastructure, trees, and buildings, and spreading thin first responders throughout the entire region as they responded to dozens of calls for emergency service.
Kingstonians woke up on Saturday morning to several flooded roadways, including Queen Mary Road, Taylor Kidd Boulevard and Milford Drive. Fortunately, Utilities Kingston crews and citizens quickly unclogged sewer drains, allowing the flooded waters to clear from roadways within a few hours.
Later that day, a second storm cell moved through the area, bringing severe winds with gusts up to 110km/h.
In total, about 5200 Utilities Kingston customers were without power for several hours on Saturday evening as power lines were downed by falling trees, and transformers malfunctioned due to strong winds and debris. At least 9000 other residents also experienced outages in surrounding areas served by Hydro One.
Kingston Fire & Rescue responded to dozens of calls about fallen power lines, including calls to Mayfair Crescent, Oakview Avenue, Craig Lane, Division Street, Barleson Avenue, Olympus Avenue, Highway 15, Rogers Side Road, Frontenac Street, Raglan Road, Clark Road, Mowat Avenue, Baiden Street, Earl Street, Hill Street, Ordnance Street, Ellerbeck Street and King Street.
One house on Mack Street suffered serious damage as a tree, approximately 40 to 50 feet tall, fell on its roof. On Russell Street, the roofing membrane of a large apartment building was sheared off the structure. And, on Cameron Street, a vehicle collided with a fallen tree. Fortunately, no injuries were reported as a result of these incidents.
The Beechgrove Complex, which was scheduled to continue performing COVID-19 tests throughout Saturday night, had to cancel appointments and close due to an unexpected power outage. All ferry services in the region were cancelled due to high waves on Lake Ontario.
Via Rail service was stopped for several hours between Kingston and Napanee after both a telephone pole and a blown over roof fell on the train tracks, trapping a train between them.
Meanwhile, South Frontenac firefighters also responded to several reports of fallen power lines, including on Perth Road, Canoe Lake Road, Holmes Road, Battersea Road, and Desert Lake Road. They also responded to at least one report of a tree down requiring a rescue, on Bedford Road. Loyalist Township firefighters responded to at least two reports of fallen power lines, on Doyle Road and on Nicholson Point Road. Greater Napanee Emergency Services were similarly kept busy with fallen power lines as well as reports of vehicle collisions, and one structural collapse of a new construction build on Ginger Street.
By 10 p.m., Utilities Kingston had reduced the extent of the power outages to about 2400 customers. The utility said that it expected half of those outages to be restored by 11 p.m., and the remainder by 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. Late on Sunday morning, however, several Kingston residents still reported they remained without power.
Hydro One continued to address dozens of outages, affecting thousands of customers, throughout the region on Sunday.
With files from Phillip Stafford, Tommy Vallier, Daniel Tastard-Homer and Cody Stafford-Arenburg