Ottawa tornado touches down at DC, UOIT bookstore

A tornado tore apart Ottawa – but on a much smaller level Durham and UOIT students were feeling the effects here for almost three days.

A tornado packing winds of up to 265 kilometres per hour wreaked havoc in Ottawa last week, causing major damage and causing power outages across the region and into Gatineau, Que.

While Ottawa is nearly 400-kilometres away from Oshawa, the blackout there meant students were unable to purchase textbooks from the online campus bookstore, Bookware3000, from last Friday evening and through the weekend.

The reason? The databases used to process credit card payments for the DC, UOIT bookstore are located in Ottawa, according to Ross Carnwith, manager of ancillary services at DC and UOIT.

When the tornado hit, those databases lost power, leaving students able to add books to their cart but unable to check out, said Carnwith.

This is the first time something like this has happened, he said.

“This is sort of just a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said Carnwith.

An email went out to students early Monday morning letting them know they would still be unable to purchase textbooks for at least 48 hours. However, the issue was resolved by 10 a.m. Monday as the databases regained power.

Students are able to purchase textbooks both in person and online depending on their proximity to the college. While the exact number of textbooks sold online isn’t available, Carnwith confirmed a large number of textbooks sold are done through online purchases.

“I can’t say how many but it’s a significant portion of what we sell,” said Carnwith.

It wasn’t only book sales that were rocked by extreme weather conditions.

DC’s women’s basketball team had an exhibition game end prematurely Friday night at Nipissing University in North Bay due to severe winds.

The gymnasium where the team was playing lost power with 4-6 minutes left, said Chris Cameron, DC’s sports information and special events coordinator. It was decided the game would be considered concluded due to the time. Durham was losing 67-61 when the game was called.