Employees of the Government of Canada have been told not to go to work Monday, as a large part of Ottawa remains without power after two tornadoes struck the city and Gatineau, Que., on Friday.
“To assist with recovery efforts, the Government of Canada has been asked to minimize commuting as well as demand on the electrical grid,” a statement read. “As a result, Government of Canada employees in the National Capital Region have been asked to stay home and work from home, if possible.”
Our offices in Ottawa and Gatineau will be closed on Monday, September 24 2018 due to the power outage. All our regional offices continue to function normally. (1/2)
— Statistics Canada (@StatCan_eng) September 24, 2018
The power outages are the result of two tornadoes that wreaked havoc in the area. As of Sunday night, approximately 36,000 customers remain without power in Ottawa, while 4,000 customers in the Outaouais region, which includes Gatineau, were blacked out as well.
Schools also announced they would be closed on Monday. The Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board announced citywide closures for Monday, citing power outages and extensive damage across the city.
ALERT: All #OCDSB schools, program and administrative buildings including the extended day program and infant/toddler programs will be closed tomorrow, Monday, September 24, 2018. Read more: https://t.co/FntxQJBTMU
— OCDSB (@OCDSB) September 23, 2018
Hadley Junior High School and Philemon Wright High School in Gatineau also announced they would be closed on Monday due to tornado damage.
Due to the damage caused by the tornado on Friday the Hadley And Philemon Wright High will be closed on Monday September 24. We will communicate with you tomorrow to give you an update on the status of the school.
— Hadley Jr. / Philemon Wright High School (@WQSB_HadleyPW) September 23, 2018
The tornadoes ripped through Ottawa on Friday, specifically the neighbourhood of Dunrobin, about 35 kilometres west of Ottawa’s downtown, before moving to Gatineau.
The twisters brought winds reaching up to 265 kilometres per hour and destroying houses and trees in their path. At one point, more than 200,000 Hydro-Québec and Hydro Ottawa customers were without power.
Two people were also admitted to hospital in critical condition as a result of the storm.
On Sunday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford visited Ottawa and toured the areas most affected by the tornadoes.