Large swath of CSL without power, trees down, after “micro-burst” sweeps Western Montreal

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City crews preparing to remove branches from trees that came down on Hudson north of CSL Rd.

The storm earlier today created havoc across many parts of Quebec. Areas hardest hit include the West End. Large trees, some over 200 years old were uprooted in NDG following the worst part of the storm that lasted one or two minutes.

In Cote Saint-Luc, many residents are still without power as midnight approaches. Many trees were knocked down.

I did a late night loop around Cote Saint-Luc to survey the situation and saw several Hydro Quebec crews working to restore power and city staff and volunteers ensuring our safety.
Councillor Steven Erdelyi said, “I was driving through my district and saw teams from Public Works, Public Security, vCOP and EMS out keeping the residents safe.”
“I saw our teams working in conjunction with Hydro, vCOP ensuring that streets were blocked off, crews removing trees and branches, foremen leading HQ to the site of downed lines and speaking to and reassuring residents. I saw Public Security agents putting flares down at key intersections to provide some light and EMS crews supporting the fire department to help frail residents going to their apartments on upper floors,” Erdelyi said.

Trees down on Hudson north of CSL Rd.

“A special thank you to John, Thierry, Laurence, Claude and Jordy (all of whom I saw in action tonight) for all your hard work and dedication,” Erdelyi added.
Said Mayor Brownstein, “Thank you all. You are truly amazing and appreciated very much.  You all make us very proud.  I have been receiving compliments for your great work by email from residents all evening.”
CSL has issued an overnight parking tolerance across the city due to ongoing power failures.
The CSL Tennis Club will be closed Wednesday as the power lines are down and some fences have been damaged.
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CSL digs out from biggest snowfall in years

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In Côte Saint-Luc we are very proud about how we handled snow clearing

by: Cllr. Mike Cohen

Posted: 18 Mar 2017 02:59 PM PDT

As we continue to dig out from the biggest snow storm the Montreal area has seen in years, I would like to applaud the work done by the City of Côte Saint-Luc`s Public Works Department.

CityTVsnowmarch2017

I have received a great deal of kind comments from residents in regards to how well  we  handled the snow clearing.  In fact, most of the Montreal media praised the work we did on the main roads. Please understand that this is a very difficult task and I was among the motorists on the Thursday morning stuck trying to get past the underpass on Cavendish. It was unavoidable and inconvenient, but later in the day all cleared up

“It was an emotional day for many residents,”  Public Works Director Beatrice Newman reported to city council. “Please help us help your residents understand why things appear to be a certain way while in the background, the city is working fervently to provide safe passage-ways in the city.”

The light on Guelph Road broke Thursday morning and stayed green. This meant that Westminster stayed on a red light. Traffic began to build up, employees rushed to help traffic. Public Security  directed traffic and electricians worked on determining and fixing the light. “Things like this happens when there are drastic changes in weather,” Ms. Newman said.

Cavendish Boulevard was congested, southbound. Our snow removal operations provided clear roads for our residents, but unfortunately once they hit CSL Road and Cavendish, they were faced with congestion. NDG kept their side of Cavendish at one lane. Therefore, our three lanes had to squeeze into their one lane. “Et voilà, major traffic accumulation on Cavendish and  CSL,”  Ms. Newman explained.

Fleet was at one lane from our city right through Hampstead. The objective at first is to clear the road with one lane for access. Then approximately 24 hours later, the blowing began. “We cannot start our operations earlier in the morning or traffic issues would be inevitable,” said Ms. Newman. “Only one lane would still be available in this case. We must consider the safety concerns first. This was not a regular snow storm. This was a blizzard with white out conditions, dangerous road conditions and more. We must have patience. Close to 40 centimeters fell and the process to remove it all will not be quick, we must work efficientlyand safely.”

We had five  teams working all day Thursday, five sidewalk cleaners, five loader/blowers, five 10 wheelers, five walkers and two salt trucks remained to follow the contractors as they salted the roads once the contractor blew the snow. Once snow falls on the asphalt  we secure it with abrasives.

Snowdump2017

Our snow dump after the storm.

 

Two teams worked at the municipal buildings and one  worked on our special calls such as  snow blown accidentally on personal walkways, emptying public garbage, etc. One  employee was stationed at the snow dump on Marc Chagall in District 2, which now looks like an Olympic ski hill.

The balance of the areas around Yavne, Merton and Maimonides schools were done on Friday.

We are working hard to do our best in operations and customer service.

“In Public Security, our agents have seen their call volume go up by a factor of 2.5,” explained Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson. “Our agents have responded with professionalism and tact despite trying circumstances, horrible road conditions and lots and lots of snow. They have always kept the safety of our residents at the forefront and I have been impressed by their ingenuity and dedication.

“Our Dispatch Centre has been flooded with calls and complaints about everything from traffic to snow removal to cars blocking driveways. Despite being screamed and sworn at, they have maintained their composure and professionalism.”

Mr. Reichson noted that while  we did not activate our emergency plan, we kept it close at hand. We ensured that our evacuation routes remained as accessible as possible and were prepared to activate elements of the plan as required. “Despite what some residents have posted online, our response has been as strong and efficient as it can be,” he said. “ This was not just another storm, but rather an opportunity for our employees to shine and from what I have seen, all have risen to the occasion.

Nashen says volunteers put to the test

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Suburban Newspaper, December 4, 2013

Councillor Glenn Nashen, in charge of Public Safety portfolio, said the early November windstorm “really put our Public Safety division to the test,” in terms of “the work that was done by our public security officers in terms of responding to down wires and downed trees, and Public Safety situations: emergency medical services crews that responded to back to back calls – one call came in for cardiac arrest in an elevator that was trapped between floors on MacDonald Avenue that turned out not to be a cardiac arrest.

“There were number of life-threatening and potentially life-threatening emergencies, and our volunteers did an absolutely tremendous job at responding. I dispatch center was completely flooded with phone calls by concerned citizens. And our volunteer Citizens on Patrol went out in full force – we did an emergency call out, and had four simultaneous crews working to help back up public security.

“As we head towards 2014, where the council has decided to prioritize emergency preparedness, and helping to educate the public, the windstorm was quite an unexpected but excellent test for our volunteers and professionals to be out there, protecting the public,” Nashen added.

Nashen commends rescue services after windstorm

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Free Press. Nov. 19, 2013. Click to enlarge.

Free Press. Nov. 19, 2013. Click to enlarge.

Safety planning at Canada’s Wonderland lacking: CSL councillor

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Safety planning at Canada’s Wonderland lacking: CSL councillor

By Joel Goldenberg

The Suburban

September 16, 2009

Côte St. Luc councillor Glenn Nashen, in charge of the safety and public security dossier on council, will be taking action against a deficiency in safety he personally witnessed along with his frightened family, when recent tornadoes hit Ontario.

“This will long be remembered as one of the most frightening days ever for me and my family,” he says.

In his blog, Nashen writes of recently witnessing first hand a tornado warning at Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario — near Toronto — when he was there with his family on vacation. Nashen wrote that the day began in a typically summery way, in “sunshine and heat.”

“Within minutes the rain began and the sky grew darker and darker,” his blog says. “We took shelter under a giant umbrella in the water park thinking it will quickly pass and we’d resume our wet fun on the slides and in the wave pools.”

“As the storm grew in intensity, and the kids began crying uncontrollably, the image of the ominous storm clouds from the Ten Commandments, just before the parting of the Red Sea, was not far from what we were actually experiencing. This was becoming quite serious. Moments later the lifeguards began blowing whistles and running, hollering that a tornado was coming and to evacuate immediately.”

“With the car much too far to reach quickly we grabbed the kids, stroller and bags and ran to the nearest washroom and hunkered down as the claps of thunder were so deafeningly loud, they must have been immediately overhead. Power flickered the lights off and on repeatedly and the kids continued wailing… except three-month-old Jeremy, content in my wife’s arms.”

Nashen said he was shocked when, at that point, the amusement park’s security guards asked Nashen and his family to leave the building so that the park could be closed. “We argued with several of them that we would not leave the safety of the building we were in to run with young children and a newborn across Wonderland. They insisted we had to go, and quickly, as more tornado storm activity was about to strike. They essentially were telling us to run for our lives — but again, no directions, no plan, no useful information. We asked for emergency transportation out of the park, to no avail. We asked to remain where we were, also to no avail.”

“Finally, a kind washroom cleaner handed us garbage bags to try to keep dry in the torrential rain,” Nashen relates in his blog. “Strange how it was okay for the Wonderland toilets to be cleaned by an employee in the same facility I was ordered to leave immediately for safety reasons. With rain pelting down sideways, reminiscent of Florida hurricanes, we frantically ran to the next covered area. My daughter cried and screamed, ‘We’re going to die!’”

Nashen added that he and his family took shelter in a diner for a half-hour, and he then rushed his family into his car as a big lightning bolt struck in the distance.

The councillor, who is involved in emergency and disaster planning for Côte St. Luc, said all of this was lacking at Canada’s Wonderland.

“The confusing, disorganized and illogical commands of the Wonderland security personnel was unbelievable. Either they had no evacuation plan or poor communication systems or both. To order guests, including children and infants out of a sheltered area and into the storm was irresponsible, dangerous and negligent. The Wonderland public address system continued to blare out music rather than emergency instructions.”

“Knowing a thing or two about general safety concerns and disaster planning it was evident to me that Wonderland did not live up to expectations to safeguard their guests. Not even close! I will certainly be writing a strongly worded letter to the company president.”

Read original blog posting

Extremely dangerous storm more than a thrill ride at Canada’s Wonderland

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We never thought we could experience a real tornado warning here at Canada’s Wonderland mega-amusement park, a little north of Toronto but that’s exactly what happened just hours ago as we were enjoying a vacation day in sunshine and heat.  Within minutes the rain began and the sky grew darker and darker.  We took shelter under a giant umbrella in the water park thinking it will quickly pass and we’d resume our wet fun on the slides and in the wave pools.

As the storm grew in intensity, and the kids began crying uncontrollably, the image of the ominous storm clouds from the Ten Commandments, just before the parting of the Red Sea, was not far from what we were actually experiencing. This was becoming quite serious.  Moments later the lifeguards began blowing whistles and running, hollering that a tornado was coming and to evacuate immediately.

With the car much too far to reach quickly we grabbed the kids, stroller and bags and ran to the nearest washroom and hunkered down as the claps of thunder were so deafening loud, they must have been immediately overhead.  Power flickered the lights off and on repeatedly and the kids continued wailing… except three month old Jeremy, content in my wife’s arms.

Unbelievably, while we were now relatively safe in the change room the Wonderland security guards asked us to leave as they wanted to close the water park for the evening.  We argued with several of them that we would not leave the safety of the building we were in to run with young children and a newborn across Wonderland.  They insisted we had to go, and quickly, as more tornado storm activity was about to strike.  They essentially were telling us to run for our lives – but again, no directions, no plan, no useful information.  We asked for emergency transportation out of the park, to no avail.  We asked to remain where we were, also to no avail. 

Finally,  a kind washroom cleaner handed us garbage bags to try to keep dry in the torrential rain.  Strange how it was okay for the Wonderland toilets to be cleaned by an employee in the same facility I was ordered to leave immediately for safety reasons.

With rain pelting down sideways, reminiscent of Florida hurricanes we frantically ran to the next covered area.  My daughter cried and screamed, “We’re going to die!” 

We ran into a diner where scores of people also took shelter.  We huddled for another half hour, my mother in law drying our wet towels under the hand dryer in a futile attempt to warm up and dry off.  A young boy stood nearby, separated from his father in the pandemonium.  Again, we ran closer to the exit, first a tent-covered amphitheatre and then a pizza restaurant, a gift shop that was flooded and finally the front gates.  I ran for the car, as a powerful bolt of lightening struck in the distance, pulled the car up to the gate and scooped up my family to get back to our host’s house, and quick.

The confusing, disorganized and illogical commands of the Wonderland security personnel was unbelievable.  Either they had no evacuation plan or poor communication systems or both.  To order guests, including children and infants out of a sheltered area and into the storm was irresponsible, dangerous and negligent.  The Wonderland public address system continued to blare out music rather than emergency instructions.

Life guards yelled to run without any clear direction where we were to run to.  Shopkeepers were completely uninformed about the tornado and storm or evacuation plans.

This will long be remembered as one of the most frightening days ever for me and my family. 

Knowing a thing or two about general safety concerns and disaster planning it was evident to me that Wonderland did not live up to expectations to safeguard their guests. Not even close!  I will certainly be writing a strongly worded letter to the company president.

As of this evening, the Town of Vaughan, Ontario (where Wonderland is located) has declared a state of emergency. More than 200 homes were severely damaged, 60 of which will have to be torn down. 

We’re dry, safe and sound at the end of a very long and frightening day.

 

 

Here is a video taken a few blocks from where we were.

680 News coverage

CBC viewers photos

Canadian Press video

Toronto Star photos

More incredible home video a few blocks away

YouTube

 Coverage in The Suburban Newspaper, September 16, 2009

 

Here’s a map view of how close we are (Point A) to where the tornado actually touched down on Burnhaven Road (Point B):