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Strong wind, rain could result in downed trees, power outages in Toronto

Wind gusts could reach 90 km/h midday Friday. File / Global News

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Toronto and the surrounding regions, citing concerns about potential damaging winds and localized flooding.

Global News chief meteorologist Anthony Farnell said the heavy rain will fall Thursday night and early Friday. He said there will be a break before a cold front could bring a quick-moving thunderstorm at around lunchtime on Friday. Temperatures will fall later in the day.

The forecast high in Toronto for Friday is 16 C.

Farnell said rain amounts should generally be 10 to 15 millimetres, but added the total amount could reach 25 millimetres in a short period of time — something that could potentially create issues.

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“The ground is still frozen in some areas, which will limit the ability for the rain to be absorbed,” he said.

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“Even with this limited absorption, I do not expect a significant flood threat.”

During midday Friday, gusts could reach approximately 90 km/h. Farnell said there’s the potential for power outages.

Matthew Pegg, the City of Toronto’s fire chief and the general manager of emergency management, said emergency crews are ready to respond to any potential damage despite the City’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

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During an unrelated news conference on Thursday, he said 55 forestry crews will be ready to address fallen trees and clear roads. Parks staff will also be available to help clear catchbasins.

Pegg said if ferries are unable to access Ward’s Island due to intense winds, ferries will be redirected to Hanlan’s Point and residents from Ward’s Island will be driven to Hanlan’s Point by bus.

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If there are fallen power lines, Pegg encouraged residents to be cautious.

“Should you encounter a downed power line, stay at least 10 metres away, which is roughly the length of a full-sized school bus, and call 911,” he said.

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