Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines says he finally sees a finish line in power restoration.
"I think it's fair today to describe it as - we're now hour by hour," he said during the province's daily press conference this morning.
There are now under 6,000 customers without power in Toronto.
Haines says he expects the rest of the affected customers to be back on the grid within a few hours.
There is, though, an exception.
Premier Kathleen Wynne says that about 1,500 of those customers have damaged power stacks on their private property. Home owners are responsible for hiring a licensed electrical contractor to fix any damaged stacks.
"That electrical stack is the property of the homeowners themselves," says Dave Collie with the Electrical Safety Authority.
"If [utility crews] come along and [the stack] represents a safety hazard, they will not be able to connect that home back up," Collie says.
He says you can find a licensed electrical contractor on ESA's website.
Tree debris cleanup
Mayor Ford says that debris cleanup began on Friday. There are 50 forestry crews in the field and 16 contractor crews working closely with Toronto Hydro. The forestry crews are clearing downed trees and fallen branches to help hydro crews work on restoration.
Crews have come from Ottawa and London to help with the cleanup. They are currently pushing tree debris to the side of the roads. The cleanup is expected to take up to six weeks.
If you have downed trees and branches on private property because of the storm, the city says you do not need a permit to have them removed.
If a branch is of a manageable size, the city says you can drag it to the curb and it will be picked up. The city asks residents not to drag debris onto sidewalks.
If there is a large branch or entire tree down on your property, the city says you should hire a private contractor to remove the large debris.
Deputy Mayor apologizes
Meanwhile, Toronto's Deputy Mayor seems to have learned a lesson from his decision to spend some Christmas time with family in Florida.
He was gone about 24 hours, leaving Christmas afternoon and returning Boxing Day afternoon and he's been getting a lot of blow-back over it on social media sites, including Twitter.
It would seem if the Deputy Mayor could do it over again, he would probably change his travel plans.
"I do regret that (the trip) has complicated matters for me," tells told NEWSTALK 1010 on Friday morning...
Kelly insists he did not go to Florida to shirk his responsibilities as Deputy Mayor, adding that he did have his Blackberry with him and was answering calls and emails.
Kelly's is in his 70's himself and has older relatives in the US that he wanted to see.
His youger relatives are having families of their own, too.
Kelly says he is typically a no-show at holiday get-togethers and he wanted to change that.
Emergency services kept busy
Toronto Police have been checking up on people in highrises without power. Police say they evacuated 50 vulnerable people, many of them seniors, from six buildings in the Don Mills Rd and Sheppard Ave E on Wednesday night. They were brought to local warming centres.
OPP officers have been freed up to help with welfare checks.
Toronto Fire Chief Jim Sales says the service has been fielding double the amount of calls they normally get. He says candles left burning in an empty, powerless house is the probable cause of a massive Christmas night fire in North York.
TDSB to reopen daycare facilities
The Toronto District School Board is reopening almost all of its facilities on Monday.
Only three daycare centres will remain closed because of damage from the storm.
The centres that will remain closed on Monday are:
Broadlands Public School
Hillmount Public School
Fairmount Public School
GTA POWER OUTAGES:
In other areas of the GTA, power has been returning slowly. Here is an outage rundown:
Powerstream (York Region)
About 160 customers are without power.
Vaughan - 85
Markham - 24
Richmond Hill - 52
Crews are now focusing on small groups and one-off outages. Restoring those customers is very labour and time intensive and can take considerable time.
Halton Hills Hydro:
As of Saturday morning, about 300 customers were still in the dark, not including individual damaged services. The areas that still required restorations include:
- Dublin Line 17SR to 25SR
- 22SR Townline to Dublin Line
- Townline – 10SR to 15SR
- 20th SR to 25 SR
- 15 SR from 4th Line past Sixth Line
- 3rd Line south of 22 SR
- 3rd Line 10 SR to 15SR
- 4th Line 10 SR 5 SR
- 4th Line 10 SR to Hwy 25
- 5th Line 22 SR to 17 SR
- 6th Line Hwy 7 to 22 SR
- 6th Line 15 SR to 5 SR
- 8th Line south of 27 SR
- 9th Line to 10th Line
- 10th Line 32 SR to Leslie Hill
- Winston Churchill 32 SR to Wanless
Hydro One: the number of people without power is now in the hundreds (120,000 at peak). The utility is sending 50 crews to Toronto Hydro to help out with restoration efforts there.
Brampton (Hydro One):
There are still 230 customers without power. There is no estimate on restoration.
Veridian Connections (includes DURHAM REGION, but not exclusive to region):
Veridian says that most of its customers are back on the grid, except for about 100 individual homes that had equipment damage on their private property.
Veridian’s service crews and outage hotline will continue to be available until all affected customers have their electricity restored.
TORONTO WARMING CENTRES
For those who do not have power, the City still has 10 warming centres open:
-- Dennis R Timbrell Community Centre, 29 St. Denis Dr. (Eglinton/Don Mills)
-- Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Rd. (Neilson/Finch)
-- Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane St. (between Finch and Steeles)
-- Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Ave. (Yonge/Finch)
-- Joseph P Piccininni Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Ave. W. (St Clair/Keele)
-- Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard St. E. (Pape/Gerrard) - replacing East York Collegiate Institute
-- Lawrence Heights Community Centre, 5 Replin Road - replacing Lawrence Heights Middle School
-- Edithvale Community Centre, 131 Finch Ave. W. (between Bathurst and Yonge)
-- Pleasantview Community Centre, 545 Van Horne Ave. (between Edmonton and Brian)
-- McGregor Park Community Centre, 2231 Lawrence Ave. E. (Lawrence/Kennedy)
Toronto police have also opened up 13 of their buildings to serve as warming centres:
- 11 Division, 2054 Davenport Road
- 12 Division, 200 Trethewey Drive
- 14 Division, 350 Dovercourt Road
- 22 Division, 3699 Bloor Street West
- 23 Division, 5230 Finch Avenue West
- 31 Division, 40 Norfinch Drive
- 33 Division, 50 Upjohn Road
- 42 Division, 242 Milner Avenue
- 43 Division, 4331 Lawrence Avenue East *closed because of power outage
- 51 Division, 51 Parliament Street
- 52 Division, 255 Dundas Street West
- Toronto Police College, 70 Birmingham Street
- Toronto Police Service headquarters, 40 College Street
MISSISSAUGA WARMING CENTRES
The warming centres in Mississauga have now been closed.
Jim Archdekin Recreation Centre - 292 Conestoga Pkwy.
City Hall - 2 Wellington St. W.
Town Hall – 6311 Old Church Road in Caledon East, just west of Innis Lake Road
Albion Bolton Community Centre, 150 Queen Street South, Bolton
Caledon Centre for Recreation and Wellness (CCRW), 14111 Regional Road 50 North, Bolton
Mayfield Recreation Centre, 12087 Bramalea Road
All will be closed at 8pm. Anyone requiring a warming centre can go to Bolton Fire hall which will remain open. Volunteers will provide rides to Hall if required. Call 905-584-2272
Dufferin Clark Community Centre - 1441 Clark Ave. W., Concord
Oak Ridges C.C. (12895 Bayview Avenue) & Rouge Woods C.C. (110 Shirley Drive)
The Milliken Mills Community Centre, located at 7600 Kennedy Road, is available 24 hours as a warming centre and provides overnight services.
Legends Centre, 1661 Harmony Rd. N.
Police are telling drivers not to be out on the roads unless absolutely necessary.
OPP Constable Graham Williamson says road conditions are still hazardous, especially because many traffic lights aren't working.
"The major problem is debris on the roadway, with branches and that sort of thing," he says.
Toronto Fire service says two people have been taken to hospital with carbon monoxide posioning after bringing a charcoal barbecue inside their home near Lawrence and Allen, trying to stay warm.
Fire officials are again reminding you NOT to bring in outside heating devices. They've received 5 times the amount of CO calls as they do on a regular day.
If you need to report a downed power line, power outage, or get more information on when your power will be restored, here are the numbers to call:
Toronto Hydro - 416-542-8000
Power Stream (Richmond Hill, Markham, Vaughan) - 1-877-777-3810
Enersource (Mississauga) - 905-273-9050
Hydro One - 1-800-434-1235
Toronto police are asking you to call 416-808-2222 or 311 to report downed trees, not 911 (unless it is an emergency).
Toronto Fire Services offers residents the following tips for staying safe in the aftermath of the ice storm.
• use a sturdy holder
• make sure glass shade higher than flame to protect against loose clothing becoming ignited
• position candle away from combustibles
• blow out the flame when you leave the room
• keep lighters, matches and candles away from children
Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
• ensure that the batteries are working
• avoid operating propane, natural gas or charcoal barbecues indoors – if not properly vented, using them will create a carbon monoxide (CO) hazard
• ensure that your stove is clear of combustibles and is turned off or unplugged to avoid a fire when the power comes back on
• leave kettles and other small appliances unplugged
• ensure the fireplace screen is in place if burning fuel in a fireplace
• avoid burning trash or paper in a fireplace, as flaming paper can travel up the chimney and land on your roof
• provide at least one metre of clearance from combustibles for an electric space heater
• do not use stove, barbecue or camping gear for heating your home, as they create a CO and burn hazard
• do not operate generators inside home, garage, or near windows or vents where exhaust could migrate indoors
• refuel outside and after generator has cooled
• use a flashlight rather than a candle for light