Ottawa storm shuts down Canadian North cargo facility
Power outage continues to halt operations three days after Saturday storm that also devastated parts of southern Ontario
Canadian North’s Ottawa cargo operations remained partially grounded Tuesday, three days after a heavy storm left the airline’s facility without power.
On Saturday, the Ottawa area was struck with heavy winds and rain that also blasted much of southern Ontario. In Ottawa, the storm uprooted trees, knocked over power lines, and left many homes, buildings and street lights without power.
According to Canadian North’s Twitter account, power at the airline’s cargo facility has been out since Saturday. As of Tuesday morning, it had not been restored and operations have not been able to resume.
“The power remains off at our facility at the Ottawa Airport,” Canadian North tweeted Tuesday morning. “We will continue to be closed to the public until the power is restored. Further updates will be provided when more information is available.”
Mid-afternoon Tuesday, Canadian North tweeted that it had a “limited ability to accept emergency shipments in small quantities” as its cargo office remains closed.
“We have been in contact with our local and territorial authorities on the cargo situation that we are facing and we hope that the power will be restored shortly,” the airline said.
At the time of publication, Canadian North had not responded to a request for further information.
The airline also advised its passengers departing from Ottawa to arrive at the airport early.
“Please be aware that due to this weekend’s severe thunderstorm, we are urging our passengers departing Ottawa to arrive at the airport for check-in 3 hours prior to their flight due to the area power issue,” the airline tweeted Sunday.
After two days on a backup generator, regular power was restored to the Ottawa Airport’s main passenger terminal, said airport spokesperson Krista Kealey, but every building at the airport sustained some damage.
She said debris has been cleared from the runways and flights should be back on schedule. However, travellers are advised to drive carefully to the airport as many lights are still not working, and some roads continue to be closed or blocked by debris.
“There’s a lot of damage on the campus, there’s a lot of debris, so for that we ask passengers to give themselves a little bit of extra time,” Kealey said.
“Staffing shortages remain, and the storm’s exacerbated that as people take care of their own homes and personal issues.”
NOTE: This story was updated mid-afternoon Tuesday to note the latest information released by Canadian North Airlines.