UPDATE: Ottawa area hospitals fully back up and running following Saturday’s storm

By Dani-Elle Dubé

While some hospitals were lucky enough not to be touched by the weekend storm that left hundreds of thousands without power, some Ottawa area hospitals did have to grapple with power outages.

In a statement issued to CityNews, the Queensway Carleton says while it wasn’t “completely untouched” by Saturday’s storm, its operations are back up and running.

“We experienced a temporary power outage on Saturday which was resolved in collaboration with Hydro Ottawa on Sunday, with the hospital running on generators until then and some surgeries and procedures being postponed,” hospital spokesperson Kelly Spence said. “Both our offsite locations at Moodie and Fairfield remain without power; Fairfield is running on a backup generator. Due to their lack of power, many complex patients requiring electricity to support life-sustaining technology came to our ED and our B2 medical unit for our support.”

However, Spence said, the team stepped up and resolved some issues in different areas of the hospital over the weekend, with multiple staff coming in on their days off to help out.

The Ottawa Hospital tells CityNews that it managed well during the storm and was, for the most part, unaffected by the power outages.

Volumes were up a bit over the weekend, hospital spokesperson Rebecca Abelson said, but the hospital cannot determine if that was due to the storm.

Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital also lost power after the storm but relied on a backup generator until late on Tuesday evening.

“We continued with normal emergency department volumes and cancelled day surgeries on Tuesday and Wednesday,” spokesperson Jane Adams confirmed.

The Montfort Hospital, on the other hand, says it did not “directly suffer: from Saturday’s storm.

“We are glad to have avoided any damage and power outage. All our services have continued to operate normally,” spokesperson Martin Sauvé said. “We did receive a few patients who rely on oxygen at home and needed supply and electricity, but they have all gone back home safely now.”

As of Friday, May 27, CHEO says the main Smyth Road campus remains open; The only CHEO site not open the 1667 Montreal Road Mental Health site.

Rotel, however, which provides accommodations for CHEO patients’ family and friends, is currently without power, hot water and telephone access.

“CHEO is supporting current Rotel guests as well as those with upcoming reservations at Rotel by providing access to power, showers/hot water, laundry and wifi in CHEO's main building nearby. Alternate arrangements are also possible,” CHEO says on its website. “Our Emergency Department continues to support families of young patients whose children depend on electrically powered devices for life-sustaining support.”

CHEO adds it will also be doing what it can to prioritize clinical services over the coming days. 

Sauvé did say, though, that some staff members were impacted by the storm and, therefore, resulted in some absences in its teams.

However, the more significant impact has been from the school and daycare closures that have left some parents home to care for their families.

In a media briefing on Thursday, May 26, the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Hydro Ottawa, Bryce Conrad, stated that he is hopeful that the majority of the power grid is restored by the evening of Friday, May 27. 

Power has been restored to 137,000 hydro customers, while 43,000 consumers are still without power. 

Conrad said over 300 hydro poles have been replaced, and the cleanup will continue for weeks.

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