Storm recovery crews overwhelmed in Ontario, Quebec

Storm crews overwhelmed

The repair bill from the cluster of wind storms that pummeled southern Ontario and western Quebec has topped $1 billion.

And with contractors stretched thin, the recovery will last well into next summer.

Crews face another colossal restoration job in the aftermath of post-tropical storm Fiona in the Atlantic provinces, and contractors say they are struggling to keep up. Fiona is believed to be the strongest storm ever to hit Atlantic Canada.

The straight line of heavy wind storms that hit Ontario and Quebec on May 21 wasn't the most intense wind storm in Canada, but it was the first time a storm of that magnitude swept through the most densely populated corridor of the country.

Uninsured losses in that storm exceed $875 million, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, while utilities and municipalities report multi-million dollar costs to repair infrastructure.

The City of Ottawa says its storm bill is around $20 million, including damage to municipal buildings, replacing 175 traffic lights and 650 traffic signs. As of September, crews removed 450 uprooted stumps from city property but had more than 2000 more left to go.

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