01 Jun River Ward E-Newsletter, June 1, 2022 | Bulletin electronique de Quartier Rivière 1 juin 2022
River Ward Community Update
Dear Friends and Neighbours of River Ward,
Another challenging month is behind us. As I write my update from the Hunt Club Riverside Park Community Centre on Sunday afternoon (May 29), just under 2,000 households remain without power in River Ward, on the 8th day since the storm hit our City, including my house. At the height of the power outage, approximately 15,000 River Ward residences were without power.
The very next day, while speaking with the City Manager, I was able to establish resources to set up a command centre at the community centre, as the Hunt Club neighbourhood was one of the four hardest hit neighbourhoods, according to the City. The Centre received up to 300 guests per day for a week to charge their personal devices, receive information and resources, take a shower, dispose of food waste, come in for a meal or drink or simply be around neighbours. I also established extra green bin collection in Riverside Park – Mooney’s Bay. At the time I was asked to pick only one neighbourhood, 75% of households in this area, had no power and the volume of food waste was estimated to be high.
Every day was a fight to get local news and information from Hydro Ottawa. I was direct and assertive, writing to the CEO and even Chair of the Board, when my assigned contacts were not providing me what you needed – information.
There will be a lot to review about how Hydro Ottawa responded to this latest emergency. I am not critical of the men and women who worked in dangerous conditions to restore our power. My attention will be to provide input on the communications framework, criteria to prioritize power restoration, how to acquire needed resources faster and in greater quantities. We must also better understand how the power grid works, its vulnerabilities, and how investments can be made to strengthen it. Finally, at the very local level, how can we be more organized to serve each other in our times of need. This power outage latest way too long. People needed help. How can we organize ourselves to serve one another before help arrives.
I do want to acknowledge and wish all the fathers, grandfathers, uncles and father-figures a very Happy Father’s Day on June 19.
I would also like to offer my congratulations, on behalf of River Ward residents, to our graduates this month. Congratulations on your academic success, we all very proud of you.
City Councillor, Conseiller municipal
River Ward, Quartier Rivière
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