Ottawa-Gatineau Tornado Has Residents Banding Together To Help

Sima Shakeri
Ottawa-Gatineau Tornado Has Residents Banding Together To Help

After a devastating tornado swept through parts of Ottawa and Gatineau, Que., residents are banding together to pick up the pieces.

More than 145,000 people are without power, and many have had their homes and cars damaged or destroyed in the storm.

In the midst of all this darkness, Good Samaritans are reaching out with helping hands.

Ottawa even altered bylaws to allow food trucks to park on streets that don't have power so that residents can get food. They also said they will not enforcing parking regulations on streets unless there are safety or mobility concerns.

People are offering everything from basics like blankets, water and food, to more specific items like baby and pet food, and charging stations for cell phones.

Others are going out to help move debris and get fallen trees out of roads.

Many are also opening their doors to those in need of shelter, or just a hot shower and some reprieve.

Do you need a recharge, some coffee and a snack? Downtown and we can help! from r/ottawa

And people are crossing their fingers for a couple who planned to get married on Sunday at a venue that now has no power despite the hiccup, the wedding is reportedly still on, much to the excitement of his social media supporters.

A Starbucks in the area is reportedly giving out free food and coffee to visitors, and a woman brought power banks to a Tim Hortons so more people could charge their devices at the same time.

A pharmacy in Ottawa's Manotick area is also helping residents with urgent medical needs who can't access their own pharmacies for medicine.

The Ottawa Senators have also set up a GoFundMe aiming for $25,000 to help deal with the tornado's damage. The hockey team says it will match donations up to the $25,000 mark at least.

According to Hydro Ottawa, the city's electrical grid has not sustained this much damage since the 1998 ice storm, and efforts to restore power are going slow but steady.

Residents are being encouraged to stockpile food and water, as some areas may not have power restored for days.