Weekend events will not divert resources away from storm cleanup, city of Ottawa says

The city of Ottawa insists a number of major events happening in the capital this weekend will not divert resources away from the cleanup after last weekend's powerful storm.

Thousands of runners will participate in Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, while the Ottawa Redblacks, the Great Glebe Garage Sale and several other events will proceed as scheduled this weekend.

"Things are beginning to return to normal in other parts of the city that were less impacted (by the storm)," Mayor Jim Watson said Thursday afternoon.

"I want to thank all of the organizers, the city's event central office, Ottawa police and city crews for going above and beyond to ensure that these events can be maintained."

Approximately 43,000 Hydro Ottawa customers remained without power Thursday afternoon, and more than 50 signalized intersections remain offline due to damage from the storm.  The city has deployed 600 public works crews to assist with cleanup operations and to pick up green bin waste and garbage.

"In terms of the public works resources, we're not re-diverting resources that supports these events to the cleanup," said Alain Gonthier, Ottawa's general manager of Public Works.

"We have, basically, resources dedicated to support these events, they're 24/7 resources. I can assure the community they're not taking away from the cleanup efforts."

The biggest event of the weekend is the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, which will see runners participate in races Saturday and Sunday through several neighbourhoods."

Watson says it was never an option to cancel the event, and city staff gave approval to move ahead.

"It's not going to impact hydro, the large corridors that need to be repaired are far enough away from the route," Watson said.

Ottawa police will be deployed to assist with race weekend events.