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Winter storm warning: prepare with utility information

Winter storm warning: prepare with utility information

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for our area, with total snowfall accumulations of 15 to 25 cm, beginning late this evening through Saturday morning. Rapidly accumulating snow can build up on fire hydrants, exhaust vents, and natural gas and electricity meters, presenting a safety risk to you and your family. Heavy snow, combined with high winds, can bring down powerlines.

If you have any concerns about utility equipment, contact the Utilities Kingston 24-hour line at 613-546-1181. Never use social media to report a utility issue or emergency.

To protect worker and public safety, please slow down and follow all signs when our crews are at work.

Stay updated

We strive to provide reliable and timely information about utility interruptions. Stay up-to-date with our outages map, and by following us on Facebook and Twitter

Keep gas and electrical meters clear

Utilities Kingston reminds you that, although your outdoor gas meter is designed to withstand winter weather, heavy or hard-packed snow and ice on your meter can be a safety hazard. Tips and reminders:

  • Accumulated snow places stress on your meter piping; damage to the piping can cause a gas leak.
  • Every meter has a pressure relief vent. It is important to keep this clear of snow and debris.
  • In case of emergency, emergency response crews need access to your meter.
  • Never let snow completely cover your meter.
  • Do not shovel snow up against your meter.
  • Take care in using a snow blower or plow near your meter.
  • Never kick or hit the gas meter or its piping to break away built-up snow or ice.
  • Use a broom to gently clear snow and ice from this equipment. If you have trouble gently removing ice, contact Utilities Kingston.

Keep outside exhaust vents cleared

To prevent dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) build-up in your home, keep the external vent pipes of furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters and clothes dryers clear of snow and ice. 

Make hydrants visible

Residents and snow removal companies are reminded not to shovel or blow snow onto hydrants. We thank citizens who take the time to clear snow and ice from fire hydrants, providing access to fire fighters in case of emergency.

Did you know? There are 3,600 hydrants in the municipal water distribution system. After a heavy snow fall, we inspect hydrants and then make them accessible for fire protection. Inspectors divide the area into 16 ‘hydrant beats’ of approximately 200 hydrants each. They visually inspect hydrants, and clear them of snow and ice as needed. We prioritize hydrants adjacent to critical services such as hospitals, schools and long-term care facilities.

Report gas smells or “hissing”

Smell the 'rotten egg' smell associated with a natural gas leak? Call Utilities Kingston immediately from outside your home or building at 613-546-1181,

How to detect and respond to a natural gas leak.

Install and obey carbon monoxide alarms

Ontario Fire Code requires all homes (whether single family, semi, or other) with fuel burning appliances (including fireplaces) and/or attached garages, to be equipped with CO alarms. These alarms should be located outside of all sleeping areas. For added protection, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every storey of the home according to manufacturer’s instructions.

If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning:

  • Ensure all people and pets leave the home
  • Call 911
  • Seek medical attention immediately

Read more on CO safety.

Powerline safety and power outages

Downed lines and tree branches

  • If you see a downed power line or tree branch that has fallen on a power line, always assume it still has electricity flowing through it, even if it isn’t sparking.
  • Stay back at least 10 metres or 33 feet (that’s about the length of a school bus) and don’t touch anything metal (such as guard rails) in the area.
  • Report it immediately by calling 911 or our emergency line at 613-546-1181. This line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • If a power line falls on your car, the car and the ground around it may be electrified and you could be killed if you get out of the vehicle. Stay inside until the utility workers tell you it’s safe to get out. Tell everyone to stay back 10 metres or 33 feet.

Power outage precautions

Review our power outage precautions. For example:

  • Locate a phone that does not require electricity, as well as a flashlight and batteries.
  • Consider an alternate source of power for your sump pump and any medical equipment. 
  • Do not use a propane barbeque, camp stove or portable standby generator indoors. They can generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Your carbon monoxide detector may not work in an outage.
  • Plan to turn off all appliances that will turn on automatically when power is restored.

Know your electricity provider - and who to contact in an emergency

Stormy weather can cause power outages. We want to ensure that our operations centre staff remain focused on safely and quickly restoring services to our customers. Please assist us by knowing - and calling - your correct service provider.

Kingston is primarily served by two electricity providers – Utilities Kingston and Hydro One. A small number of homes and businesses in Kingston East and north of the 401 receive their services from Eastern Ontario Power. If you are an Eastern Ontario Power customer, call 1-844-601-9473 in case of a power outage.  

The following PDF Map outlines the areas served by these three providers. Please review it and get familiar with who to contact in your area. 

Kingston's electricity providers - service areas

If your power outage is in the following areas, check with Utilities Kingston, via our Outage Map, or by calling our 24-hour line at 613-546-1181: 

  • Barriefield and CFB Kingston
  • Central Kingston:
    • south of the 401
    • from the Little Cataraqui River, west to Dalton Avenue, Strathcona Park, Grenville Park, Fairway Hills and Collins Bay Penitentiary Lane.

Still not sure? Take a few minutes now to check your electricity bill and note your provider, or use the address lookup tool available from the Utilities Kingston website to see which of our services you receive.

If your power outage is in the following areas, then please contact Hydro One:

  • East Kingston, not including Barriefield and CFB Kingston
  • North of the 401
  • West Kingston, including Meadowbrook, Bayridge, La Salle, Auden Park, Henderson Place, Lakeland Acres, Reddendale, Cataraqui, Westbrook, Midland Park, Kingston Airport – and west of these areas.

Hydro One customers can report their outage by texting 92887 (WATTS), through the company's outage map or by calling 1-800-434-1235.

More information

For more information on keeping your home and family safe, visit our page on Winter Safety

If you have any concerns about utility equipment, contact the Utilities Kingston 24-hour line at 613-546-1181. Never use social media to report a utility issue or emergency.