Advertisement

2 dead as storm wreaks havoc on southern Ontario, toppling trees and electrical wires

Click to play video: 'Tree falling on shed in Toronto neighbourhood caught on camera' Tree falling on shed in Toronto neighbourhood caught on camera
WATCH ABOVE: Video shows a large tree blowing in strong winds on Friday in a Toronto neighbourhood before it falls on top of a shed as people watching express shock at the scene – May 4, 2018

Parts of southern Ontario were hit with wind gusts on Friday strong enough to topple trees, delay flights and knock out power.

During the storm, Milton Hydro said a forestry worker from Miller Tree died and Halton Regional Police said another was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition after a tree they were working on fell on them.

READ MORE: Forestry worker killed by falling tree during storm, high winds in Greater Toronto Area

In Hamilton, local police said at around 7 p.m. officers were called to West Avenue South and Main Street East to assist paramedics. A man, who is believed to be in his 50s, was found unconscious on the road next to live wires.

Police said witnesses reported the man tried to move the wires from the road and was subsequently electrocuted. Officials encouraged residents to stay well back from downed electrical wires.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Man electrocuted after witnesses say he tried to move downed power wires: Hamilton police

Meanwhile, Peel Regional Police were called to Sayers Road, northeast of Southdown Road and Lakeshore Road West, in Mississauga Friday afternoon after a large tree fell in front of a school bus. Police said 72 children between the ages of seven and 10 were on the bus at the time. There were no reports of injuries.

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for a large section of southern Ontario, including the Greater Toronto Area on Friday. The weather agency said gusts of up to 110 km/h were observed.

WATCH: Toronto Pearson Airport personnel dodge luggage containers sent flying in strong winds

Click to play video: 'Toronto Pearson Airport personnel dodge luggage containers sent flying in strong winds' Toronto Pearson Airport personnel dodge luggage containers sent flying in strong winds
Toronto Pearson Airport personnel dodge luggage containers sent flying in strong winds – May 5, 2018

Global News Chief Meteorologist Anthony Farnell said Toronto received winds of up to 119 km/h and Hamilton’s gusts clocked in at 126 km/h.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Severe thunderstorm warning end for Guelph, Waterloo area

Winds were so strong that a video posted on Twitter showed a lawn chair falling to the ground after being blown off of a high rise balcony in the Park Lawn Road and Lake Shore Boulevard West area of Toronto.

Hydro One said its crews were responding to many outages caused by the high winds and thunderstorms. The utility said more than 126,000 homes were without power as of early Friday evening.

Toronto Hydro said as of 10 p.m., approximately 68,000 customers were without power.

Earlier on Friday, Environment Canada placed much of southern Ontario under a severe thunderstorm watch. It said conditions were “favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.”

Story continues below advertisement

The warning was called off for Toronto and areas close to Lake Ontario late Friday afternoon.

The winds were expected to shift to the northwest in the evening and diminish.

14
A large tree fell down on Fleming Crescent near Bayview Avenue and Eglinton Avenue West during a storm Friday afternoon. Adam Dabrowski / Global News
24
A large tree fell down on Fleming Crescent near Bayview Avenue and Eglinton Avenue West during a storm Friday afternoon. Adam Dabrowski / Global News
34
A tree was uprooted in Thornhill Friday afternoon during a powerful storm system that brought wind gusts of more than 100 km/h. Ron Waksman / Global News
44
A tree was uprooted in Thornhill Friday afternoon during a powerful storm system that brought wind gusts of more than 100 km/h. Ron Waksman / Global News

Transit, flight delays reported in the GTA

Officials with Toronto Pearson International Airport said early Friday evening there was a ground stop in effect, meaning flights could not land at, or depart from, the airport.

Story continues below advertisement

The winds were so strong at the airport that a loose baggage container could be seen blown into a fence just north of Highway 401.

Ontario Provincial Police tweeted at 5:45 p.m. that the QEW is closed in both directions at the Burlington Skyway due to high winds. The highway reopened at around 8:15 p.m.

TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said on Twitter Friday afternoon that subways will be travelling at a reduced speed (30 km/h) in parts of the system “to ensure safe stopping in the event debris or falling tree limbs encroach on the tracks.” He later said debris blown on the tracks — including mattresses and pillows — caused subway delays.

GO Transit said its trains were experiencing significant delays due to fallen trees, broken railway crossings and power outages. The agency’s spokesperson, Anne Marie Aikins, asked the public to delay non-essential travel.

Service on the Union-Pearson Express was cancelled for several hours due to mechanical problems and debris on the tracks. Service was reinstated after 10 p.m.

–With files from Jessica Patton, David Shum and Don Mitchell

Story continues below advertisement

Sponsored content