People walk past debris in a Gatineau, Que. neighbourhood on Saturday, September 22, 2018. A tornado on Friday afternoon tore roofs off of homes, overturned cars and felled power lines in the Ottawa community of Dunrobin and in Gatineau, Que.                                THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

People walk past debris in a Gatineau, Que. neighbourhood on Saturday, September 22, 2018. A tornado on Friday afternoon tore roofs off of homes, overturned cars and felled power lines in the Ottawa community of Dunrobin and in Gatineau, Que. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

B.C. MP Cannings spared brunt of Ottawa tornadoes

MP Richard Cannings was spared the impact of the tornadoes that hit the Ottawa region

Luckily MP Richard Cannings’ Ottawa residence wasn’t in the swath of destruction carved out by a trio of tornadoes that touched down Friday in Ottawa.

However, like a quarter of a million other people in the region, the member for South Okanagan-West Kootenay was without power and water at his apartment for much of the weekend.

“I just finally got my hot water back this morning so I’m happy,” said Cannings in a telephone interview Monday. “The tornadoes were quite a ways away from me, maybe a half-hour drive but the actual power outages were much more widespread. Most of downtown Ottawa and everything out west was impacted and there was no power on Parliament Hill all weekend.

“It was a bit of a reminder about how close to not having all the modern conveniences was when I had to cycle for a couple of kilometres to be able to go to the bathroom. It’s one thing when you’re out in the boonies but when you’re downtown in a major city looking for a place to go to the bathroom or find some power or find a coffee or anything like that and you have thousands of people doing the same it can be quite disruptive.”

When the storm hit Friday, Cannings was actually at a function at the glass encased TwentyTwo ballroom on the 22nd floor of the Westin Ottawa hotel.

Related: Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

“We have this new phone warning system so my phone went off with this big alert so we knew this was going to be a big storm,” he recalled. “We had a spectacular view of the storm, although we couldn’t see the details of the tornadoes. It was a big storm, it came through and belted us with slashing rain for half an hour, just sort of blackness but I was inside and didn’t see the full force of it.”

After the worst had passed he walked home to his apartment just over a mile away to find the water and power not working.

On Saturday, he headed downtown where there was a number of commercial operations that still had power and where others like himself were congregating.

“It was one of these things where you actually talk to the people on the elevator, talk to people on the street,” said Cannings. “So as they say it’s something that brings the community together. The businesses that had power were very co-operative.

Related: Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

“I spent a lot of Saturday in the lobby of the Lord Elgin Hotel. It was a ways away from me but it was a big hotel that had power and I could plug my phones in.”

He added the attached Starbucks had a line up out the door for much of the day. One employee he talked to had been there from 6 a.m. and was still at work at 6 p.m.

After power and water were returned he planned Sunday to have a long hot shower to get ready for Monday.

“It was then I realized there was no hot water so I had to boil water and pour it into the tub and have a bath,” he said with a laugh. “Not having power is one thing, not having water is much more of a problem.”

Related: Ottawa area residents take stock of tornado rubble as Ford tours the ruins

As of Monday morning there were still several thousand people without power and clean up was continuing. Schools and a number of government offices were also closed for the day.

At its height two of the massive twisters, touched down about 90 minutes apart, the first hitting about 5 p.m. EST. ripped apart homes, uprooted trees and flattened barns cutting a trail of destruction about a kilometre wide and 40 kilometres long.

Ranked as an E/F3 tornado, winds reached speeds of 260 kilometres and hour.

There were no reported deaths however nearly 20 people were taken to hospital and hundreds of homes were evacuated.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter

 

Dark clouds over the Parliament buildings after two tornadoes blew through the Ottawa area Friday.                                Submitted photo

Dark clouds over the Parliament buildings after two tornadoes blew through the Ottawa area Friday. Submitted photo

Just Posted

The Okanagan’s first virtual wedding fair will be held Saturday, March 27. {Paul Rodgers photo)
Okanagan to host virtual wedding fair

Okanagan wine country is No. 1 destination for weddings - online event set for March 27

Allison O’Neil. (Phil McLachlan, Kelowna Capital News)
Okanagan College prof encourages women to excel in math and science

Allison O’Neil is works in the engineering department at the Kelowna campus

Kelowna Fire Department members are cleaning up a two-vehicle collision on Harvey Avenue at Dilworth Drive Sunday afternoon, Feb. 28. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Kelowna crews clear up highway collision

Two vehicles involved in incident at Dilworth Drive and Harvey Avenue

(Contributed)
Kelowna flight potentially exposed to COVID-19

Third case on a local flight this month, compared to 14 through January

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Wills Hodgkinson, 10, and his mom Neeley Brimer get ready to battle round three of cancer. The community of Penticton has his back. (Submitted)
Community raises $21K to help Penticton boy battle third round of cancer

Okanoggin Barbers held the fundraiser on Saturday for 10-year-old Wills Hodgkinson

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
UPDATE: 70-year-old man killed in workplace accident at Baldy Mountain

The mountain closed on Saturday but has partially re-opened today (Sunday)

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two separate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

Most Read