Five days after unprecedented ice storm left nearly 300,000 Torontonians sans power and forced to spend Christmas in homes without electricity or in improvised shelters, Toronto Hydro is engaged in a “one truck helping one home,” effort to bring power back to the 54,000 city dwellers still without energy.
“It’s taking so long [to reconnect power in some areas] because we have not seen a storm like this in our history,” said Toronto Hydro Public Affairs Advisor Tanya Bruckmueller, to the CBC today. “The amount of damage to our equipment due to the trees coming down is slowing us down. We’ve got snow that’s covering much of the branches. It is difficult. We are trying our best. Many of our crews missed holidays with their families. We are trying to do our best.”
The outages have forced thousands of Torontonians into an erratic Christmas. Hundreds of people without family or friends to stay with have taken to staying in warming centres set up by the city as makeshift shelters.
This afternoon at a press conference, Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines picked up where Bruckmueller left off. “We’re reaching the point now where we expect to be–what I call–at hand-to-hand combat now,” he told reporters at City Hall. “Which is one truck helping one home. This last bit is going to be heavy lifting at a much slower pace.”