No Calm After The Storm: Restoring The Grid Together

Hydro Ottawa

  • 24 August 2022
  • Author: Sari Maritzer
  • Number of views: 119
No Calm After The Storm: Restoring The Grid Together

While the May long weekend was designated to celebrate the birthday of an iconic monarch, most Canadians know it as an annual ritual to welcome summer. May two-four is traditionally the weekend when camps and cottages are opened, gardens are planted, blackflies swarm, and golden days are signalled.

For Hydro Ottawa, however, it is currently known as the most destructive time in our history. Around mid-day on May 21, dark clouds descended into Ontario skies as a ferocious storm pummeled the province. Wind gusts as strong as 190km/hr felled trees, snapped hydro poles and transmission towers and caused widespread power outages. As the devastating weather system known as a “derecho” hammered Ontario, Hydro Ottawa teams prepared for the worst.


A trail of destruction was left like nothing Ottawa has ever experienced before. Unlike previous storms in which we could focus on restoring a particular neighbourhood, responding to this storm required us to deploy our resources across the entire city.

Transmission towers were toppled, more than 400 hydro poles damaged, and kilometres of powerlines downed. In total, we had more than 1,000 simultaneous power outages across the city and 180,000 customers with no lights.

Click here to read Hydro Ottawa's feature cover story in the new fall issue of The Distributor.