Three tornados touched down in Ottawa and Gatineau last Friday, leaving devastating and not to mention costly devastation in their wake. Volunteers and city workers have been busy over the weekend beginning to repair the city, but they have a long road ahead of them.
While it is still too soon to say the exact extent of the damage, in terms of money and time involved in the cleanup. But, experts are saying it could be months before people's lives are back to normal and the total cost is expected to reach high into the millions.
One of the first major costs incurred was by Hydro crews who have been working tirelessly after the tornado knocked out power from over 200,000 people in the area. As of this morning, 1000 Ottawa area homes are still without power.
The cost of Hydro crews is one example of the costs being covered by the city and province. Other governments have also contributed to the tornado repair. In Quebec for example, the provincial government has offered $1 million to help the Red Cross in their relief efforts. Both the federal and Ontario governments have also pledged their financial support, but the exact amount is not yet known.
As for people's personal costs, insurance companies are getting ready to respond to all the tornado claims from Ottawa residents. For people who have insurance, they are being asked to start documenting damage and saving all their receipts. Costs covered could include hotel stays, home repairs, and replacing damaged goods.
Even before the tornados this weekend, insurance companies in Ontario have already paid out almost $1 billion dollars from storm damage this year alone. Now those costs are expected to rise drastically.
In 2011, a tornado of a similar magnitude touched down in Goderich, Ontario leading to $75 million worth of damage, according to insurance companies. Given that the Ottawa tornado was relatively the same strength, it could be assumed that costs will be similar as well.
As for timelines, while repairs are already underway and insurance investigation beginning now, but between waiting for claims approval and getting everything replaced and repaired, it could be months before everything is completely back to normal.