Thousands still without power after record GTA rainfall
TORONTO – Close to 50,000 Toronto Hydro customers remain without power Tuesday morning after record rainfall pounded the Greater Toronto Area Monday evening.
Hydro officials say the outage is focused in the west end of the city and electricity is expected to gradually come back online in the morning and afternoon for most customers.
According to Environment Canada, 126 millimetres of rain was recorded at Toronto Pearson International Airport Monday, setting an all-time one-day rainfall record.
The previous record of 121 mm was set on October 15, 1954.
READ MORE: DVP, TTC and Go Transit updates
The weather agency issued a special weather statement early Monday afternoon for parts of southern Ontario including Toronto. It called for heavy localized flooding.
Just before 6 p.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Toronto, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Mississauga and Brampton.
The rain forced the closure of subway service throughout the city during the evening rush-hour as heavy rain interfered with signal systems and flooded subway stations.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) said early Tuesday morning subways will be running, except for the Bloor subway line between Jane and Kipling stations. Shuttle buses will be in use.
The TTC also warned of a slow commute on some bus and streetcar routes.
Heavy flooding shut down the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) from Don Mills Road to the Gardiner Expressway just before 7 p.m.
Northbound lanes reopened just after 4 a.m. Tuesday while the southbound lanes reopened at 5:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, close to 1,400 people were rescued from a GO Train after it became stranded in flood waters shortly after leaving Union Station.
One commuter, Hilette, said in a telephone interview that the train was in pitch black, there was no water, no air conditioning and some people were getting sick.
“People are crowding in certain areas because the water is rushing through it. People are getting sick,” she said.
Watch: Raw video of people being rescued from the flooded GO Train.
“GO train. Flooded. Help?” Jaime Ho tweeted.
Police and firefighters used small inflatable boats to ferry all passengers from the Richmond Hill-bound train a short distance to higher ground. It took until about 12:30 a.m. to complete the operation, about seven hours after it began.
WATCH: Passengers talk about being rescued after their commuter GO Train grounded to a halt when heavy rain flooded the tracks on Monday.
Emergency officials said five or six people were treated at the scene for minor injuries during the operations and none required hospitalization.
Watch: Mississauga was hit as a record-setting storm rolled through the GTA. Cindy Pom reports.
Mississauga, a city of more than 700,000, saw some of the worst of the blackouts with 80 per cent of the community plunged into the dark, according to power distributor Enersource. By around 10 p.m., only about 50,000 were without power.
Power was fully restored around 4 a.m.
In York Region, PowerStream Inc. said 20,000 customers were knocked off the grid in Markham and Richmond Hill. Power was restored just after 10 p.m.
Environment Canada is calling for more rain Tuesday with a risk of thunderstorms in the afternoon.
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–with files from James Armstrong and The Canadian Press
© Shaw Media, 2013