Goderich Tornado - August 21, 2011


Goderich Tornado - August 21, 2011
Goderich Tornado
August 21, 2011
Disaster to Planning
to Rebuild
One of Canada’s Top Ten
Weather Stories for 2011
Larry J. McCabe,
General Event Facts
• At approximately 3:53 pm the tornado entered the harbour area from the west (off
Lake Huron), moved up the lake bank and moved in an east southeast direction
through the town – less than two minutes
• The F3 tornado lasted about 15 minutes, with a total track of 20 km.
– An F3 or Fujita Scale 3 means peak winds between 253 and 330 km/h.
– First F3 tornado to hit Ontario since April 1996
• Width of damage through town was 1.5km
• 1 death and 37 people injured
• The preliminary damage estimate for Goderich alone was $100 million
– 54 buildings demolished (19 Commercial, 35 Residential), an estimated 283 buildings required
• Major natural gas leaks – mains damaged from up rooted trees, gas had to be turned
off for the entire town and small village to the north of town.
– 50 Union Gas employees on site, within two weeks all customers back on!
• Entire town without power
• First Emergency Control Group meeting within 3 hours of storm
• Police – 432 offices deployed to Town
• Trees – 500 down on public lands, 25 acres at cemetery flattened - Not included the
lake bank
2 horizontal grinders (100 truck loads/hr) – within 6 days all town streets cleared
The Square
Courthouse Park
Fall 2012
Spring 2013
Hydro Facts
Substation #2 damaged
Operations Centre destroyed, utility vehicles trapped inside
Within 8hrs of the storm 40% of the power was back on, which picked up
facilities like retirement homes, water plant and wastewater plant, 2 gas
stations, rec centre (OPP command centre) and emergency
shelter/temporary emergency control centre
Within 2 weeks, power returned to all 3700 customers with the exception of
maybe 250 accounts - severely damaged buildings
– 100 poles replaced, 20 transformers down and 4833m of lines repaired
– 50 additional linemen plus equipment
Total cost for new capital, repairs and assistance is about $1.5 million
– Expenses are NOT covered by insurance and do NOT qualify for ODRAP
Hydro Operations Centre
Hydro Losses
Z-Factor Application made Fall 2011. The results of OEB decision:
Yes – there was an extraordinary event
No – to plan to recover costs over 63 months as $4.00/month per
customer as presented
c) Loss to form part of the Cost of Service Application
Scheduled for May 2013
d) Loss amount to be accumulated in a variance account
Cost of Service Application
Interim Rates approval for May 2013 requested, rejected by OEB –
remain as Cost of Service process
Cost of Service 2013 Projected to cost utility approx. $240,000
Goderich Harbour
Goderich Harbour
Sifto Salt Mine - ship loading equipment, office
building and storage buildings destroyed
– Private sub-station = scrap metal
South Pier Terminals – grain storage warehouse
destroyed and elevators damaged
7 hydro poles down
WCHE was able to restore power in 9 days
First shipment of salt loaded less then 3 weeks
after the storm
Security needed to control traffic into the harbour
Ontario Disaster Relief
Assistance Program
Monday, August 22 – Premier McGuinty tours the tornado damaged
areas and announces up to $5 million in disaster relief funds
– $2.5M for Town’s disaster response and recovery
– $0.5M for the surrounding municipalities disaster response and recovery
– $2.0M to assist affected private individuals, farms, small businesses and
non-profit organizations (2:1 Funding)
Goderich & Area Disaster Relief committee (arms length from town)
created from members of the public. The Committee’s role is to
administer the program and claims received during the recovery
process, this includes raising funds:
– Fundraising committee raises the funds for the private component of the
program, the province matches the dollars raised 2:1
– Mid-2012, over $3.9 million was raised, over $12 million with the
matched provincial funds (additional formal request) to assist the private
side in recovery
ODRAP Committee Stats
# of applications (files) received
# of files approved for financial assistance
# of files closed because financial assistance is not required
# of files ineligible
Expended and Committed Funds:
Claims paid as of Feb. 15, 2013
Funds committed to claimants but not paid as construction has not commenced
Total funds required to pay all claims
Total amount of money raised by local volunteer fundraisers
Interest earned on deposits
Total $ available from fundraising
Contributions from the Province of Ontario:
Under the up to 2:1 matching formula, the Province is committed to contribute
The Surprises!
The Tornado forming on the Lake
Heavy rains Aug 24th and additional tornado warnings
Ministry of Labour – critical time lost (3 days)
Discussions and Roles
AMEC, an environmental company (public lands only)
Canadian Safety Ltd., an abatement company (public lands only)
P100 ‘fit’ testing (private – public property concerns)
Planning and Heritage Issues
Municipal solicitor’s involvement
That the cost of Hydro’s required infrastructure repairs are not covered by ODRAP or
other provincial/federal disaster funding program
Having the natural gas turned off to the entire town
To recover these costs, Hydro is applying for a Z Factor Rate increase, a very meticulous
and costly process - on the backs of the customers
Natural gas generators useless
Reaction of Emergency Operation Control Group members, staff, politicians & public
Moving Forward – the Planning
Sept 24th 2011- first Public Meeting regarding the rebuild
of the downtown core and town parks
Very good attendance from residential and business
November 2011 – Council selected the Planning
Partnership to complete a Downtown Core Master Plan
and Courthouse Park Landscape Design
End of 2011, 119 tornado related building permits had
been issued, total construction value $20.39M
Temporary Use Bylaw and Tornado Bylaw finalized on
Nov. 21, 2011
Committee preparing Bylaws were town solicitor and another
municipal lawyer (pro bono), plus town planner
Temporary Use Bylaw – allows businesses that were
damaged or destroyed in the tornado to temporarily
reopen in a location they may not normally be permitted
i.e. house, highway commercial location – 18 months
Tornado Bylaw – temporary amendment, allowing
buildings that had to demolished to be rebuilt in the exact
same footprint as before even if that building doesn’t
conform to the current Zoning Bylaw and Official Plan i.e.
requires variance, house built in commercial designation,
Waived Site Plan fees
New Trees for Courthouse Park
Estimated cost Recovery and Rebuild
Goderich Hydro
Gas Tax
Insurance Proceeds
Immediate recover of lost
Town of
Recovery and Rebuild
Courthouse Square – interior
Remaining projects/stages
Total Expenses
Sources of Funding
Taxpayer/Customer Rates
Total Revenue
Tax impact – 1% increase in general municipal tax rate equals $63,000
Funding Application – CIIF application unsuccessful for Courthouse Park
- MIII application unsuccessful – Core Area
New Construction in the
Heritage District
Spring 2013
Lessons to be Learned
1995 Cyclone – 1000 trees destroyed
Emergency Operations Control Group (EOCG) executes emergency plan
– Declared August 21st
– Over October 14th
Assistance of Emergency Management Ontario - Invaluable
Emergency Services - Invaluable
Communication imperative - blackberries, radios
Immediate decision making by
– Senior Staff
• Council updated at meetings
Legal Representation
Lessons to be Learned . . . . . cont
Professional and Trained Volunteer Resources
– Police Services (OPP)
– Public Works Crews
– Parks Crews
– Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) – Hydro
– Union Gas
– Chief Building Officials and Building Inspectors
– Victim Services – 500 people supported
– Red Cross – 2600 homes visited
– Salvation Army – 1400 meals/day
– Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (SPCA)
– Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)
– Hospital
– Health Unit
Temporary Zoning and Official Plan amendments / heritage
Public Consultation /updates (media and flyer) /public (business) forums
Record keeping/scribes (no time to make your own notes)
Vehicle signage/proper equipment (shoes/masks/training/vests etc)
Lessons to be Learned . . . . . cont
Individual volunteers, create list of names – not to be employed on public lands (MOL
& asbestos)
Staff, EOCG, politicians & public all affected differently
– Some faded, others rose
Bombarded with press, emails & requests – all with ‘well’ meaning intentions
Rules/no rules (?)
Hydro Infrastructure (Z-Factor)
ODRAP – public and private
Interim Control By-law (Section 38, Planning Act)
Thank you!