Flash floods create transit havoc in Toronto

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Published on July 09, 2013

A woman wades through flood water on Lakeshore West during a storm in Toronto.

Published on July 09, 2013

People wade through flood water on Lakeshore West during a storm in Toronto.

 
 

Published on July 09, 2013

A woman wades through flood water on Lakeshore West during a storm in Toronto.

 
 

Published on July 09, 2013

A GO Train is stranded on flooded tracks in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013.

 
 

Published on July 09, 2013

Stranded passengers are rescued from a flooded GO Train in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013.

 
 

Published on July 09, 2013

Stranded passengers are rescued from a flooded GO Train in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013.

Published on July 09, 2013

A standed and flooded GO Train is seen in Toronto late Monday night, July 8, 2013.

 
 

Published on July 09, 2013

Stranded passengers are rescued from a flooded GO Train in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013.

 
 

Published on July 09, 2013

Stranded passengers await rescue on a flooded GO Train in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013.

 
 

Published on July 09, 2013

Stranded passengers are rescued from a flooded GO Train in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013.

 
 

Published on July 09, 2013

Stranded passengers are rescued from a flooded GO Train in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013.

 
 

The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Utility crews were still at work Tuesday morning trying to restore electricity to thousands of customers left in the dark by flood-related blackouts.

A record-setting rainfall struck the Greater Toronto Area on Monday afternoon, resulting in traffic chaos, flooded basements and widespread power outages.

Hydro One said about 300,000 people in the west end of the Greater Toronto Area were without power due to ‘‘significant flooding‘‘ at two transmission stations.

The utility said although 30,000-to-40,000 people had their power restored, the amount of flooding was impacting its ability to complete the repairs. Hydro One said it was not clear how quickly power would be restored.

Toronto Hydro said on its Twitter page that approximately 35,000 of its customers remained without power early today, mainly in the west end.

The utility said it was awaiting supply from Hydro One and that it could be as late as mid-morning before all of its customers had their electricity restored.

Enersource said most, if not all, of its customers in Mississauga should have had their power back by early this morning. Powerstream said all of its customers north of Toronto who were blacked out all had their power back prior to midnight.

The downpour left several roads and underpasses flooded and a number of people trapped in vehicles _ some with water up to their vehicle windows.

About 1,400 people were caught by the flooding aboard a northbound GO Transit train (at Bayview and Pottery Rd.).

It took police and firefighters about seven hours to ferry everyone to dry ground aboard small inflatable boats. Steve Harvey, the GO Transit manager of transit safety, said they got everyone off the train as quickly as they could.

”The emergency rescue workers were doing as best they could with the boats that we had. We could only fit so many people in a boat at a time and we tried to do it as fast and as safe as we could.”

Ambulance officials at the scene said five or six people were treated for minor injuries and did not need to be taken to hospital.

Go Transit said the storm left portions of track “completely under water“‘on its Milton, Richmond Hill and Lakeshore West lines and suggested passengers seek alternative ways to travel Tuesday morning.

”Obviously, we‘re going to have some service disruptions as a result of the flooding and as a result of the washout we had on the Lakeshore West service as well,” said Harvey.

”We‘re asking customers to keep into the Go Transit website for the updates. We‘d also ask them to look at making alternate arrangements for coming downtown. We can‘t guarantee that we‘re going to have morning rush hour service.”

Harvey could not say when the train that had to be evacuated would be moved.

”Bear in mind the train‘s been sitting in water for a significant period of time, so they have to do a number of safety and mechanical checks to make sure it‘s actually safe to move the train. When that‘s going to occur, I couldn‘t tell you at this point.”

Toronto’s subway service was temporarily halted Monday evening but service had resumed on most of the system by early Tuesday.

However, there was no subway service in the west end of the east-west line (between Kipling and Jane) due to the flooding. Shuttle buses were operating in both directions.

The flooding also caused a full closure of the city’s north-sound Don Valley Parkway on Monday evening, but northbound lanes were re-opened early Tuesday. Southbound lanes remained closed at the south end of the highway but were expected to open later in the morning.

There was no indication early Tuesday as to how many homes and businesses were damaged by flooding.

Organizations: Hydro One, GO Transit, Toronto Hydro Bayview

Geographic location: Toronto, Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga Lakeshore West Richmond Hill Don Valley Parkway

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