A severe windstorm and two tornadoes that ripped through the Ottawa area on Friday afternoon have left some residents of the region without electricity, food or shelter.
Although no fatalities have been reported, about 60 buildings in the Dunrobin area and more than 215 structures in Gatineau, Que., were damaged or destroyed by the high winds. Tens of thousands remain without power.
One way to help is through a financial donation to the Red Cross, which is already providing hot meals to victims of the storm. Donations can be made online or by calling 1-800-418-1111.
Another way to assist financially is by donating to the Ottawa Senators’ fundraiser on GoFundMe.com. The team has vowed to match up to $25,000 raised for the victims of the storm.
Those wishing to donate clothing, furniture or other household items in Ottawa are being advised to drop off donations at Salvation Army thrift stores or request pickup of larger items by calling 1-613-247-1435 ext. 228.
In Gatineau, the city is encouraging donations of “clean clothing in good condition, personal hygiene products and non-perishable foods” to be dropped off at the former Sears location at the Galeries de Hull on Boul. Saint-Joseph.
Food is a major concern, because the prolonged power outages may cause food inside refrigerators to go bad. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has said that licensed food trucks are temporarily allowed to go to all communities without power as a result of the storm.
The Kanata Food Cupboard has said it will be open for donations on Monday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will coordinate delivery to the locations “most in need.”