HEAVY RAINS CAUSE FLASH FLOODING IN TORONTO
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By Michelle Moore
The city of Toronto experienced heavy rain fall on August 7 that caused flash flooding in some areas. Environment Canada said parts of North York and downtown received between 50 to 75 millimetres within two to three hours.
An Environment Canada special weather statement posted August 8 at 9pm warned there would be more rain to follow; "a few pockets of heavy showers continue to affect portions of the Greater Toronto Area. However, they are slowly weakening." The rainfall is expected to end by midnight.
Two men trapped in an elevator as it filled with water were rescued during the night of August 7 by Toronto Police. Several other people were trapped in their vehicles and rescued by police and fire services.
Toronto Police stated that the water in the basement elevator was six feet high upon arrival and that there was "only 1 foot of air space left." Both men suffered only minor injuries.
Due to significant damage, a road closure is in effect for Jane Street in both directions from William Cragg to Wilson Ave. The road is expected to remain closed for a significant period of time.
Lake Shore is closed between Bathurst and Strachan Eastbound Gardiner XWY, due to flooding in lane 1. Eastbound on Keele and Westbound at Dufferin are also closed.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has interrupted subway service between Finch West and Wilson. TTC said the worst of the flooding was at Sheppard Station.
"TTC crews, assisted by Toronto Fire Services, have spent most of the day pumping water from the flooded sections of the station. Once clear, electricians and subway crews will inspect and test the equipment that has been under water for several hours," TTC said in a statement.
TTC said that on August 8 service had to be suspended for an hour and a half between Bloor and Eglinton stations after storm water contacting the subway cables caused a small fire.
On August 7 the Billy Bishop Airport received 72 millimetres of rain including 51 mm within one hour, according to Environment Canada. Rain and lightening also caused delays at Toronto Pearson Airport.
Toronto Hydro reported that 16 000 homes lost power in North York and about 50 homes were without power near River Street and near Davenport Road and Symington Avenue. Power has since been restored to all homes.
In a statement Toronto Mayor John Tory asked that residents "continue using extra precautions around the city today and tonight as we continue to experience rainfall."
He also thanked city staff and first responders, he said "these stories remind us of the professionalism and bravery of our first responders and that Toronto is a caring city that will stand together in times of need."
Clean up efforts will be ongoing over the next several days at which point the city will be better able to assess the extent of the damage.