Storms & floods
Severe weather can develop without warning, affect your power supply, and create dangerous situations.
Download the Emergency Preparedness Handbook and learn how to plan and prepare for emergencies or power outages.
If you see a tree touching a power line, call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.
High wind conditions can push over hydro poles and cause trees to contact power lines. Stay at least 10 metres away from power lines, trees, or anything they may be touching – including puddles. Broken tree branches may still be energized.
A winter storm can strike quickly, so plan ahead.
During a power outage, stay calm. Your house will remain warm for several hours. If you have an alternate heat source, use it before the house cools, and maintain adequate ventilation. Consider if a backup electric generator would be a good choice for your home or business.
When heavy snowstorms sweep through an area, ice can build up on power lines and cause flickering or power outages.
Stay clear of low or sagging power lines. Travelling under these lines can be dangerous. Downed power lines may be energized so stay at least 10 metres away from the power lines or anything they may be touching.
Most floods develop slowly but heavy rain can cause flash floods in lowland areas, homes, and basements. We disconnect electrical service in flooded areas.
If an electrical or natural gas emergency occurs, flood-related or otherwise, call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.
Before a flood:
- make sure your sewer backwater valve and sump pump work to prevent a backup;
- move electrical equipment (for example, TV, stereo, computer) out of your basement to an upper floor;
- check with us if your natural gas service should be shut off.
During a flood:
- avoid standing water as underground or downed power lines can carry an electric charge;
- watch for submerged poles and low-hanging power lines if travelling by boat;
- do not travel after dark unless it is an emergency as power lines are almost impossible to see.
Normal clearances of overhead power lines may be much lower in floodwater. It also may be difficult to control your boat as the water currents can quickly change as floodwater levels rise and fall.
After a flood:
- do not enter your basement if it flooded;
- do not attempt to turn off the power yourself – we will disconnect your power at the pole to ensure it is safe.
Even if your basement did not suffer water damage, the interior structure may be wet. Electricity can move through water or wet flooring and cause severe injuries or death. Even a small amount of water can be dangerous.
A licensed electrician should replace and test all wiring, outlets, baseboard heaters, and other electrical hardware that was in contact with floodwater before your power is restored.
A licensed heating contractor should inspect any natural gas appliances that were in contact with floodwater to see if they must be replaced.
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