Carleton Place, Ont. –
The main power line into the town of Carleton Place is down as Saturday’s storm toppled about 44 hydro poles in the area.
Tuesday is the first time Cathy White has left her Carleton Place apartment in four days.
“I felt like I was in a prison and I couldn’t go anywhere,” said White.
No hydro in her building means no working elevators. White, who is in her 70s, has trouble with stairs. The hallways and stairs are also in complete darkness, making it even tougher for her.
“I’m on the fourth floor, which is the top floor,” said White. “I can go out on the balcony but I have a hard time doing the stairs. My hip, I had it operated on.”
The town has been without power since the storm and Mayor Doug Black said power could still be days away.
“The entire town is down. We have no hydro,” said Black. “The estimate of restoration I will leave Hydro One, but I believe we are still into some days.”
City crews are busy getting rid of fallen trees and cleaning up the city streets.
“We’ve been pulling a lot of trees off the road, just trying to open things up,” said Kyle Ferguson of Carleton Place Public Works. “Everybody, all hands on deck. Everybody in town: public works, recreation, the fire department.”
The town has set up their arena for residents to come take a hot shower, grab a snack or water, and charge up any electronics.
“We’ve set up a temporary charging station for residents to come charge their phones, laptops, iPads,” said Joanne Henderson, Carleton Place Recreation and Culture Manager.
Elaine Smith said with the power outage, she’s lost hundreds of dollars of food.
“Thank god the arena is open for people to come and charge their phones,” said Smith. “I lost all my food obviously in my freezer. Steak, shrimp, lobster. All gone. Spaghetti sauce, five jars, gone.”
Lise Ladouceur just happened to do her grocery shopping hours before the storm hit the region. She lost it all.
“$182 on grocery shopping on Saturday,” said Ladouceur. “That’s what I lost. Gone.”
Carleton Place might still be in the dark, but people here know how to take care of each other. One resident going out of his way to return with pizza to feed the crowd at the arena’s charging station.
“We came here, my kids and I, to charge our electronics and I saw people just sitting around here,” said Pierre Groulx. “And just thought, you know what, a nice hot pizza for them would be nice to have.”
Hydro One is now on the job to replace almost four dozen power poles affected by the storm.