Ottawa residents in storm-hit communities supporting each other

As many residents in Ottawa have been left with no power, they have not been left without hope. Residents in the hardest hit areas have been helping each get through the aftermath of the devastating storm.

No more so than in the Pine Glen neighbourhood, just off MacFarlane Road near Merivale Road.

“It has been chaos, it has been really hard,” says Katherine Rodger. She says the neighbourhood runs off a well system, and without electricity the past few days have been difficult. “We have no power, no water,” she says.

But she says everyone is helping each other. “We are a very tight-knit community. We are lucky our house wasn’t damaged, our neighbours aren’t as lucky, but it is the least we can do while we wait for our hydro to come back on.

“Some of our neighbours have generators and we have been using their houses to fill our toilets and use it to wash our faces. We have generous neighbors with generators who give us coffee in the morning and give us pails of water – we are a real community coming together.”

Rodger and her husband Jamie have spent hours cleaning trees and branches from neighbours’ yards, including Joanne Uygur. Right before the storm, Uyrgur broke her foot, so getting out of her house with so much damage on her front lawn has been difficult.

“My family just left for a trip overseas, so I am on my own, with a broken foot and they have been life savers,” Uygur says.

Communities and faith groups have also come together to help one another.

Rabbi Aryeh Kravetz leads the Congregation Beit Tikvah, a synagogue off Craig Henry Drive. “On Saturday when the storm hit, we had people all of sudden after Shabbat, the Sabbath went out, we started realizing that people were without power.”

He says people were worried about food spoiling. “We said, if anyone needs, come use use the synagogues fridge or freezer space.”

The entire kitchen and fridge are packed with food for anyone who needs it.

Kravetz says, “The Ottawa Kosher Food Bank contacted us and asked if we had power, and if we could store their supply- we said of course, and they came late at night with pounds and pounds of food.”

“A lot of people depend on the Kosher Food Bank, especially know when people are finding themselves in a difficult situation,” says Kravetz.

He says the kindness goes beyond the fridge. “We have a WhatsApp group- which is active with people, ‘Someone needs a generator- okay, someone will help, if anyone needs anything, we are in constant community for anything they need.’”

The city of Ottawa says Emergency Reception Centres will be open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Here is a list of the Emergency Reception Centres.