Environment Canada issued a special weather statement Wednesday for Toronto and the GTA for heavy rain and thunderstorms that have already caused flooding in parts of Toronto.
Locally, heavy rainfall accumulations of 20 to 40 mm are expected by the time precipitation comes to an end in Toronto and surrounding areas like Durham, Peel, Halton and York regions.
Parts of Etobicoke have already flooded. Toronto police said multiple roadways across the entire city flooded with water.
The Highway 401 eastbound off-ramp to Islington Avenue is still closed due to major flooding, according to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
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The OPP are also warning drivers to use caution and drive according to the weather conditions.
Provincial police media spokesperson Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said some drivers had to abandon their vehicles on the roads because they weren’t able to continue through the water. Schmidt said others had to be rescued from their flooded-out cars.
Toronto Fire Services tweeted that between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. they responded to 12 water rescues with multiple cars at each.
Toronto police said northbound and southbound Kipling Avenue near Highway 409 was closed during the morning.
The City of Toronto said all lanes on Rexdale Boulevard between Islington Avenue and Bergamot Avenue were blocked due to flooding.
Police said the southbound Allen ramp from Highway 401 also flooded.
Most of the roads have re-opened, said police.
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Environment Canada said showers and thunderstorms will continue to develop over the area and that additional showers and thunderstorms are also expected later Wednesday afternoon.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) issued an upgraded flood warning early Wednesday afternoon that will remain in effect until Thursday.
“Thunderstorms are forecasted to be intense and localized in nature due to the moist air mass moving through the GTA,” said the TRCA.
The TRCA is warning to exercise extreme caution around all bodies of water and avoid driving on flooded roadways or low-lying areas and underpasses.
“Lake Ontario water levels remain high and risks will continue during times of heavy wind or wave activity. At the current lake levels, high winds from any direction can result in significant wave action and lake surge.”
— With files from The Canadian Press.