Heavy rain pounds Toronto, temporarily halts subway service

Watch: Hundreds of commuters were caught in Monday’s record storm. Carolyn Mackenzie reports. 

TORONTO – Subway service throughout Toronto halted Monday evening as heavy rain interfered with signal systems, flooded subway stations, highways and downtown streets.

The GTA was deluged just in time for the rush hour commute. Roads were reduced to a crawl as the skies blackened and rain soaked the city.

And according to Global News Chief Meteorologist Anthony Farnell, unofficial numbers suggest Toronto has broken an all-time one-day rainfall record with 123 mm of rain.

Monday’s storm has unofficially set a record. Global News

The previous record of 121 mm was set on October 15, 1954.

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And a GO Train near Bayview Avenue and Pottery Road was flooded and had to be evacuated.

TTC spokesperson Milly Bernal said service will be moving “very slowly” due to signal problems across the city’s subway lines.

“There’s no power feeding our traction power with the rails. We’re unable to move trains,” TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said. “So there’s a significant disruption to subway service this evening on both our Yonge-Spadina line and our Bloor-Danforth line.”

And an onslaught of water flooded subway tunnels across the city. Ross said the TTC is working to pump the water out of the tunnels so service could be restored to the downtown core.

Bus routes were also slowed as a result of heavy rains.

Gallery: Heavy rains throughout Toronto

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Toronto Police Services’ Traffic Services unit confirms that the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) has been shut down due to flooding.

Enersource, a Mississauga energy company, reported on Twitter that approximately 50,000 customers are without power.

Watch: Mississauga was hit as a record-setting storm rolled through the GTA. Cindy Pom reports.

Toronto Hydro reported power outages north of Lawrence from Bayview to the DVP up to the 401. Power outages have also been reported near Christie Pits and north of the city including Markham and Richmond Hill.

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And Powerstream, an energy services company, is reporting that a power outage has effected approximately 29,000 customers in Markham and Richmond Hill.

What’s affected by the weather. (Update as of Tuesday morning)

  • The DVP is closed from Bayview and Bloor to the Gardiner.
  • The OPP is asking the public to avoid Highways 427, 401, 27.
  • Flooding on Highway 401 west of Kipling, Highway 409, Highway 404 and Highway 7.
  • No TTC service due to severe flooding from Downsview to St. Clair West, Osgoode to Bloor, Lawrence to Finch and Ossington to Kipling.
  • Union Station has been closed and evacuated.
  • GO Train delays and cancellations on Lakeshore, Richmond Hill, Milton, Kitchener and Barrie lines.
  • Porter Airlines has cancelled all flights for the remainder of the day due to storms and terminal power outages.
  • Toronto Hydro says up to 300,000 customers across Toronto are without power.
  • Square One in Mississauga is open but all stores have been closed.
  • Pearson Airport’s website is down due to flooded servers. Check with your airline before flying. A number of flights are being diverted.
  • Allen Road is closed at Eglinton.
  • The Radisson Hotel was offering discounted rates but has few vacant rooms.
  • The Sheraton Hotel was offering discounted rates.

Environment Canada had issued a Special Weather Statement early Monday afternoon for parts of southern Ontario including Toronto. It called for heavy localized flooding.

“Thunderstorms converged on Toronto this afternoon and left anywhere from 50 to 100mm of rain with local amounts to 150mm according to radar estimates,” Farnell said.“90mm of rain fell at Pearson airport in 2 hours crushing the daily rainfall record of 29.2mm set in 2008.”

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And just before 6 p.m., Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the cities of Toronto, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Mississauga and Brampton.

“The thunderstorms trained over the same area for several hours and heavy rain will continue for much of the evening. Flash flooding was made worse from heavy rainfall over the weekend,” Farnell said. “Additional showers and thunderstorms will develop tomorrow and Wednesday and could lead to more flooding across southern Ontario.”

Toronto and Region Conservation Flood Management advised the public to keep away from streams and rivers as the rainfall was likely to create higher water levels.

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