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Work continues to repair and recover after derecho storm

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

NORTH DURHAM/KAWARTHA: Cleanup and recovery efforts continue after the derecho storm hit communities in North Durham and Kawartha Lakes during the Victoria Day long weekend.

Late on Tuesday, May 24th, Environment Canada posted an update regarding the investigation into the possible tornado in Uxbridge.

“After a preliminary analysis of the extensive damage in Uxbridge, Ontario, Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project Team has officially confirmed an EF2 tornado was embedded within the leading edge of the derecho. The tornado occurred near 1:15 P.M. on Saturday afternoon in Uxbridge and was found to have a maximum wind speed of 195 kilometres per hour.”

While Uxbridge Township declared a state of emergency following the storm, Scugog Township explained, in an online post, why they decided not to follow that same path.

“The Township of Scugog has received a few calls and emails asking why we did not declare a state of emergency. Immediately following the storm, the Township of Scugog Operations staff and the Fire Chief did a preliminary assessment, and it was determined that the major extent of damage was trees and hydro infrastructure. Fortunately, Scugog did not suffer extensive structural damage to critical infrastructures like the hospital, nursing homes or widespread residential. There were pockets of localized damage caused by downed trees concentrated on the eastern side of Scugog and downed hydro poles resulted in many road closures. Given the result of the assessment and the time of the year, the hydro outage did not warrant declaring a state of emergency,” the post read. “Our neighbours in Uxbridge experienced much worse with widespread damage, and it was confirmed today that an EF2 tornado did touch down there. Scugog experienced the accompanying storm effects of that system.

Declaring a state of emergency is not required to [trigger] a response from the municipality.”

On Thursday, May 26th, Hydro One advised people, in a press release, that 99 percent of their customers should have had power restored by Friday, May 27th.

“A team of more than 3,200 power workers, including resources from out-of-province utilities and contractors, have restored power to more than 652,000 customers affected by Saturday’s devastating storm. Crews continue to work tirelessly through the widespread and significant damage to make repairs, rebuild local electricity infrastructure and restore power to the more than 61,000 Hydro One customers who are still without power,” the release stated.

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