Dozens of homes in downtown Bolton have been evacuated due to flooding caused by up to three ice jams in the Humber River.
Authorities said they first received reports that the river was rising on Friday afternoon before it crested the riverbanks around 7 p.m. and began to go into homes.
“Things have been changing rapidly over just the last couple of hours as the river continues to rise,” Caledon fire Chief Darryl Bailey told Global News late Friday.
Bailey said some homeowners have reported up to six feet of water in their basements, which has damaged hydro equipment.
As a result, power has been shut off for a number homes in the area, Bailey said.
Eighty homes have been evacuated along with a senior’s residence, affecting nearly 150 people.
Of the 80 homes, 30 have been impacted by flooding.
A number of other homes were also put on notice as of late Friday.
“We have several families that are on notice in the area that they may have to evacuate at any time,” Bailey said.
Emergency crews are also going door to door checking in on residents.
Meanwhile, an evacuation centre has been set up at a nearby community centre.
Brampton Transit buses have been brought in to transport residents to the community centre as Caledon does not have its own transit system.
There is no word on how long the flooding is expected to last.
Fire crews are working alongside the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to determine how to break up the ice jams.
Bailey said heavy machinery was ordered in Friday night and that residents won’t be able to return to their homes until the ice jams are removed.
Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson told Global News that older infrastructure has also made the flooding a lot worse.
“A lot of it is maybe from the river, some of it’s coming out of the ground because these are older homes with flagstone walls,” he said.
“There’s many ways how the water is entering people’s homes, but what we’re trying to do is reduce the property damage as quickly as possible.”