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Intense winds cause damage in parts of Greater Toronto Area

Toronto police say a cargo van near Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East hit debris knocked down by the wind early Friday. John Hanley / Global News

Parts of the Greater Toronto Area are cleaning up after intense winds moved through the region late Thursday and early Friday.

Just before 11:40 p.m. on Thursday, Environment Canada issued a wind warning for the Toronto area saying strong winds could cause damage.

“Strong southwesterly winds gusts near 90 km/h are expected tonight with stronger wind gusts of 100 km/h possible along the Lake Ontario shoreline,” the warning said.

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Before 2 a.m., a Toronto police spokesperson told Global News a cargo van collided with a temporary structure related to the Crosstown LRT project near Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East that blew down due to the winds.

The spokesperson said the driver of the van was pinned before being rescued by Toronto Fire Services. The driver, whose injuries weren’t disclosed, was then rushed to hospital by paramedics with a police escort.

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Shortly after midnight, Toronto Hydro reported larger power outages in the city’s east end. As of 6:30 a.m. on Friday, service appeared to have been restored to most of the city with only a few small neighbourhoods with reported outages.

In other parts of Toronto, large tree branches and residential waste containers were knocked down by the winds.

Anne Marie Aikins, a spokesperson with Metrolinx, reported on Twitter Friday morning that winds caused a railway crossing gate along the Lakeshore West GO train line to turn 180 degrees. It caused one of the trains to hold on place.

According to the Environment Canada weather forecast for Toronto issued early Friday, winds are expected to subside by the afternoon. The forecast daytime high on Friday is 5 C and there should be a mix of sun and cloud throughout the day.

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At 4:45 a.m. Friday, the wind warning issued by Environment Canada ended for Toronto and the southern portion of Durham Region.

Crews attend a Toronto street after winds caused a tree limb to fall down. John Hanley / Global News

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