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Strong winds, rain sweep through Greater Toronto Area causing damage, power outages

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WATCH ABOVE: Strong winds and heavy rain swept through the Greater Toronto Area on Sunday afternoon, toppling trees and leaving some areas without power and others with damage – Nov 15, 2020

Strong winds and heavy rain swept through the Greater Toronto Area on Sunday afternoon into the evening hours, leaving at least 230,000 people without power across Ontario according to Hydro One.

Peel Regional Police tweeted earlier at around 3:30 p.m. warning of “dangerous conditions” for areas in Mississauga.

At Derry and Tomken roads, police said a traffic light became dislodged and was hanging above the road in the intersection.

Police said at Edwards Boulevard and Kenway Drive in Mississauga an industrial sized HVAC unit blew off the roof of a warehouse. Officers said “no one knows where it is” and are asking anyone who finds it to avoid it and call police.

Then, near Erindale Station Road and McBride Avenue in Mississauga, there were reports of hydro wires down across the road, police said.

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Meanwhile, Toronto Hydro said there were multiple power outages across the city due to the wind storm, including large portions in the east end.

Toronto fire Chief Matthew Pegg tweeted that their firefighters were responding to a high number of calls for wires down and elevator rescues.

Halton Region also experienced strong wind gusts and heavy rain. Police there said within 90 minutes, they received reports of trees down across roadways at over 30 locations across the region.

Read more: Wind warning issued for parts of southern Ontario ahead of Sunday storm

“If there isn’t a compelling reason to be driving right now, please don’t,” Halton Regional Police said in a tweet.

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Global News came across trees that came crashing down on a backyard along Emerald Crescent in Burlington.

“The tree took out her big garage out here in the back,” Judy Baldwin, who’s 90-year-old aunt lives in the house, told Global News.

“It was just treacherous, it felt like a hurricane was coming through the windows. It was like a crack of thunder coming through, just split in half,” Baldwin said describing the scene.

A resident in Oakville told Global News he was watching from the window when a tree broke and crashed into his backyard.

“That centre [tree] was the biggest, tallest one of them all and we just saw it start bending, and then heard it start cracking, and then falling onto the roof so there’s a hole in the roof now,” the resident described.
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A hydro wire had also snapped and the mast landed on the roof as well, the resident said.

Back in Mississauga, Peel Regional Police said at around 4:30 p.m. sheets of drywall were blowing onto Highway 401 from a construction site on Hurontario Street. The westbound ramp was temporarily closed as a result. Shortly before 6 p.m., ramp access reopened after someone attended to strap down the drywall sheets, police said.

At the peak of the storm, Hydro One said outages caused by high winds affected more than 104,000 customers across the province with the hardest hit being in southern Ontario.

By Monday morning, that number had grown to more than 230,000 customers without power stretching from Windsor to Sudbury and all the way east to just before the Ottawa area.

Time of restoration ranged from Monday afternoon to Tuesday, according to its website.

A wind warning was issued by Environment Canada for Sunday afternoon and evening, advising of wind gusts up to 110 km/h.

Winds are expected to ease by Monday morning, the weather agency said.

Hydro crews in Mississauga responding to damage caused by strong winds and rain on Sunday. Ryan Rocca / Global News

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