‘Worst flooding in 20 years’: Burlington cleaning up after record rainstorm
Watch above: Find out what city officials are saying 24 hours after the record storm. Mark Carcasole reports.
TORONTO – Burlington area residents are cleaning up after a record rainstorm Monday dropped nearly two months worth of rain in three hours.
Initial reports indicate the southwest Ontario city received about 125 millimetres of rain, prompting 2,200 calls to the city’s 311 service.
“My street looks a bit like a war zone,” Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring said at a press conference Tuesday. “There’s dumpsters in people’s driveways and stuff is being pitched out the basement. So I empathize with people who’ve had their basements flooded.”
Goldring said the city received calls regarding upwards of 240 flooded basements but estimated the number could be closer to 500.
“I believe it is the worst flooding we’ve seen in Burlington in the last 20 years,” he said.
He said the city has yet to apply for disaster relief from the province and said, “at this stage” of the cleanup, the financial relief might not be necessary.
Environment Canada had issued severe thunderstorm warnings for Toronto and parts of the surrounding GTA Monday afternoon.
WATCH: Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring updated residents on recovery efforts following a bout of intense flooding that left even the Mayor’s house partially submerged
Goldring said the north area of the city, near Guelph Line north of Dundas Street is among the worst hit area in the city and many of the roads suffered significant damage.
As a result of the severe weather, sections of Highway 407 and the Queen Elizabeth Way were shut temporarily down and several roads and basements were flooded.
City officials say Guelph Line remains closed from north of Dundas to No. 1 Side Road.
GO Transit also had to suspend service throughout the evening hours on Monday.
Halton Region police say there were no injuries, but the rainfall created numerous traffic issues throughout the Burlington area.
The City of Burlington set up evacuation centres Monday night for people who were not comfortable staying in their homes as a result of flooded basements or a gas line leak near Upper Middle Road and Cleaver Avenue.
Residents are also being urged to keep children and pets away from creeks or flooded areas.
City officials also want people to stay away from parks during the cleanup operation as well as letting Union Gas know if they smell natural gas inside their homes.
Anyone with flooded basements can call 311.
Meanwhile, Burlington’s beaches are currently posted as unsafe, pending the results of water quality testing.
With a file from The Canadian Press