A “massive” storm stretching from New Brunswick to Louisiana brought heavy rain to parts of Ontario Saturday, leading to flooding and freezing rain in some areas.
Rain began to fall in southern Ontario in the early morning hours, while freezing precipitation fell in northern areas of the province.
Parts of central Ontario has resulted in several trees and properties being coated with a thick layer of ice. Hydro One reported hundreds of customers in the Shelburne area lost power. The electrical authority attributed some of the outages to downed trees.
“Around the GTA, 20-30 millimetres of rain has already fallen and there’s the potential for an additional 20-30 millimetres for some areas before the heaviest precipitation moves out overnight,” Global News meteorologist Ross Hull said Saturday afternoon.
“Many streams and rivers are running at above normal levels so flooding is still a concern tonight as it continues to rain.”
Flooding has been reported in parts of the province, including in Orangeville, Vaughan, and Brampton where police said some roads had to be closed due to high water levels.
In Toronto, the southbound lanes of the Don Valley Parkway at the Bayview-Bloor ramp were shut down Saturday evening due to the Don River overflowing.
Residents in the southern part of Innisfil close to Lake Simcoe experienced a large amount of flooding.
Additional flooding was reported in the Kitchener-Waterloo area (Wilmot, New Hamburg, Grand Valley) and Clarington.
A Twitter user posted photos showing flooding around homes in Innisfil and the Town later said crews were working to pump water out of affected areas.
Toronto police also reported pooling on some roadways in the city and advised motorists and pedestrians to be extra cautious during the storm.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, meanwhile, upgraded their flood outlook to a flood warning Saturday afternoon, saying rivers, shorelines, and streams in the Greater Toronto Area “should be considered hazardous.”
Conservation Halton also issued a flood watch, saying “flooding of low-lying areas and natural floodplains is expected.”
“This is a massive system. It stretches from the Gulf of Mexico all the way towards the Maritime provinces – that’s over 3,000 kilometres,” Hull said.
In Chicago, which was hit with heavy rain and fog Friday night and Saturday morning, more than 1,000 flights were cancelled at O’Hare International Airport.
Toronto Pearson International Airport is warning travellers to check their flight status Saturday as schedules may be impacted due to the storm. As of Saturday afternoon, however, only a few cancellations and delays had been reported at the airport.
“Besides the rain, the other aspect of this storm that we are keeping a close eye on is the freezing rain,” Hull said.