CityNews viewer David Edwards sent in this amateur video of flooding on Highway 427
Transit officials were advising commuters to exercise patience and delay or cancel their travel plans if possible on Tuesday morning after more than a month’s worth of rain fell on the GTA on Monday, crippling city infrastructure and causing traffic chaos, flooded basements and widespread power outages.
“It’s just a difficult commute out there,” Anne Marie Aikens of GO Transit told Breakfast Television.
The outages were still affecting flights at Pearson airport with Air Canada advising passengers there may be delays or cancellations as they recover from the storm.
“People will still experience some delays this morning,” Trish Krale of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority told Breakfast Television.
Utility crews were still working early Tuesday to restore power to thousands of households left in the dark after 126 millimetres of rain (recorded at Pearson airport) caused flood-related blackouts.The dump surpassed the 121.4 millimetres of rain set by Hurricane Hazel on Oct. 15, 1954 and was more than the 75 millimetres that Toronto typically gets in the month.
Hydro One said at its worst between 400,000 and 500,000 GTA customers were without power throughout the night due to “significant flooding” at two transmission stations.
Read our live blog of the massive storm here.
The utility said crews worked overnight to restore power to 90 per cent of its customers, but asked the public to conserve electricity usage and power down on air conditioners and other heavy equipment in order to reduce strain on the power grid.
Toronto Hydro said on its Twitter page that approximately 35,000 of its customers remained without power early Tuesday, mainly in the west end.
The utility said it was awaiting supply from Hydro One and that it could be as late as mid-morning before all of its customers had their electricity restored.
Enersource said most, if not all, of its customers in Mississauga should have had their power back by early Tuesday morning. Powerstream said all of its customers north of Toronto who were blacked out all had their power back prior to midnight.
The downpour left several roads and underpasses flooded and a number of people trapped in vehicles — some with water up to their vehicle windows.
About 1,400 people were caught by the flooding aboard a northbound GO Transit train (at Bayview Avenue and Pottery Road).
It took police and firefighters about seven hours to ferry everyone to dry ground aboard small inflatable boats. Steve Harvey, the GO Transit manager of transit safety, said they got everyone off the train as quickly as they could.
”The emergency rescue workers were doing as best they could with the boats that we had. We could only fit so many people in a boat at a time and we tried to do it as fast and as safe as we could.”
Ambulance officials at the scene said five or six people were treated for minor injuries and did not need to be taken to hospital.
Go Transit said the storm left portions of track “completely under water“‘on its Milton, Richmond Hill and Lakeshore West lines and suggested passengers seek alternative ways to travel Tuesday morning.
”Obviously, we‘re going to have some service disruptions as a result of the flooding and as a result of the washout we had on the Lakeshore West service as well,” said Harvey.
”We‘re asking customers to keep into the Go Transit website for the updates. We‘d also ask them to look at making alternate arrangements for coming downtown. We can‘t guarantee that we‘re going to have morning rush hour service.”
Harvey could not say when the train that had to be evacuated would be moved.
”Bear in mind the train‘s been sitting in water for a significant period of time, so they have to do a number of safety and mechanical checks to make sure it‘s actually safe to move the train. When that‘s going to occur, I couldn‘t tell you at this point.”
Toronto’s subway service was temporarily halted Monday evening but service had resumed on most of the system by early Tuesday.
However, there was no subway service in the west end of the east-west line (between Kipling and Jane) due to the flooding. Shuttle buses were operating in both directions.
The flooding also caused a full closure of the city’s north-sound Don Valley Parkway on Monday evening, but all lanes were reopened early Tuesday.
There was no indication early Tuesday as to how many homes and businesses were damaged by flooding.
More rain coming
More rainfall is expected Tuesday and Wednesday, Breakfast Television weather specialist Eva Fragiskatos said.
“Honestly we’ve had so much rain and it’s not over yet,” she said, adding as much as 10 millimetres of rain will hit Toronnto on Tuesday afternoon with the possibility of some thunderstorms.
But the clouds should part on Thursday. Click here for the full weather forecast.
How did the storm affect you? Share your photos, videos and thoughts in the comments.