Hydro crews hoping to complete massive ice storm repair job today

TORONTO – It’s been a long, cold, and often dangerous job, but hydro crews are finally near to completing their enormous task in Eastern Canada.

By late last night approximately 2,500 customers remained without power — about 1,300 of them in Ontario, including nearly 800 in Toronto — another 250 in Quebec, and roughly 1,000 more in New Brunswick.

That’s down from more than 600,000 at the height of the brutal ice storm that swept across southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada a week and a half ago.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had said he hoped everyone in the city would be reconnected Monday, but Toronto Hydro is now hoping to finish the job today.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said more private-sector donations had been secured to help compensate those who had to throw out food.

Shoppers Drug Mart, Metro and Sobeys each chipped in $25,000 in gift cards, following a similar donation announced Sunday by Loblaw Co,. And Coppas Fresh Market, gave $5,000 in gift cards.

The province has pledged to match donations up to a maximum of $100,000.

Wynne stressed the gift cards — which can be picked up at Ontario Works offices in Toronto starting today — are meant for people who can’t afford to replace the spoiled food.