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July 9, 2013
REVISED: Afternoon update on City of Toronto services after intense rainfall on July 8
  
***correction to information from Environment Canada***

City of Toronto crews and the City's Emergency Operations Centre continue to work closely with Toronto Hydro and the TTC to manage the impacts of yesterday's intense rainfall and to restore service levels as quickly as possible.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement regarding a low pressure trough crossing southern Ontario early Wednesday. This may cause possible thunderstorms including torrential downpours, damaging winds, and large hail.

Streams, creeks and rivers may have higher water levels during this time. Residents are cautioned to avoid these areas. The Don River will have noticeably higher water levels - use extreme caution in this area.

Toronto Hydro advises that service has been restored to most areas of the city, however 70,000 customers, mainly located in the west end of the city, remain without power. Full service restoration is anticipated by tomorrow morning. Rolling blackouts lasting approximately one hour in length will be implemented throughout the city to ease the strain on the system.

Toronto electricity consumers are asked to reduce their electricity use today where possible to help relieve the strain on the system. Energy conservation tips include:
- Turning off all non-essential internal and external lights
- Setting air conditioners to at least 25°C
- Using fans as an alternative to air conditioners and closing curtains/blinds to keep out the sun and retain cooler air inside, and
- Limiting the use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers, washers and dryers and swimming pool pumps.

For more tips on conserving energy, visit http://www.torontohydro.com/smartsummer. Call Toronto Hydro-Electric System’s Lights Out number at 416-542-8000 to report a power outage in areas other than those already being addressed.

The Red Cross is also working with the City and is conducting wellness checks at Toronto Community Housing buildings and seniors' residences in the area affected by prolonged power outages. The Red Cross is providing information and general messaging on food safety and what to do during an outage.

Public transit
With the exception of the Bloor-Danforth subway line between Jane and Kipling stations, the Toronto Transit Commission is operating at capacity across the system. Commuters should refer to the TTC's Service Alerts web page for details and up-to-date information at http://www.ttc.ca. Information on service impacts for GO Transit commuters is available at: http://www.gotransit.com.

Road closures
- Front and York Streets intersection (including access to University Avenue)
- Martin Grove Road between Belfield Road to Bethridge Road

Motorists are asked to drive carefully and be patient during this afternoon's rush hour period. Where traffic signals are out, motorists are reminded to treat affected intersections as a four-way stop. Please report signal outages to 311.

Special garbage collection
The City will provide special collection on Saturday, July 13 for waste created by flooding. Residents also have the option of setting out flood-damaged items on their regular garbage day. Residents are reminded to check with their insurance company before setting items out for collection (proof of damage prior to disposal may be needed for reimbursement).

Bulky items such as couches, mattresses or other furniture do not need to be dismantled. Carpet must be tied in rolls measuring 1.2 m (4 ft) in length. Smaller items should be placed in garbage bags; no City-issued Bag Tag required. Each bag or roll of carpet cannot weigh more than 20 kg (44 lbs). Please place all flood-damaged material out at the curb by 7 a.m. and leave items out until collected (collection may continue until Monday).

Do not set out any construction/renovation waste (i.e. drywall, wood) or household hazardous waste (i.e. paint cans, fluorescent lighting tubes/bulbs).

Put spoiled food items in your Green Bin for pick-up on your regular collection day.


Other City service impacts
- All Toronto Employment and Social Services offices are operational with the exception of The Queensway office (779 The Queensway) which is closed due to power outage.
- Children's Services West District office is closed to due to power outage; clients are being re-directed to the other three offices. Addresses available at http://www.toronto.ca/children/pdf/districtoffices.pdf.
- Outdoor sport fields are experiencing closures due to flooding and water saturation. Outdoor sports fields will remain closed for Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Permits holders and sports clubs are request to check the website or speak directly to the Park Supervisor and/or Permit Office staff to determine potential openings for July 10, 2013 prior to heading out to ensure that scheduled activities will be permitted.
- Some City-operated swimming pools experienced flooding and power outages. A list of closed pools is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/prd/swimming/index.htm. City staff may shut down an outdoor swimming pool at any time if health and safety is compromised, e.g. by an electrical storm or heavy rain.
- Scarlett Woods golf course is closed until further notice and Humber Valley is reduced to nine holes; all other courses are operating. No golf cart access.
- Montgomery's Inn is closed due to power outage; all other museums are open.

In the event of a flooded basement:
- Call the City of Toronto at 311 to report a blocked basement drain or sewer backup, or for information or assistance with a blocked drain, 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. During this extreme weather event, residents should expect high call volumes. Calls will be answered by the first available agent.
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report property damage caused by flooding.
- Be mindful of your health and safety when cleaning up a flooded basement - do not stand in flood water. Call a professional for assistance. More information about basement flooding is available at http://www.toronto.ca/water.

During an outage:
- Unplug or turn off all appliances to avoid possible damage when power resumes.
- Turn off water to the clothes washer and dishwasher if they are in use when the power goes out.
- Leave a light or radio on so you will know when power is restored.
- When power has been restored, check all fuses to ensure that none have been blown.
- Plug in only the most essential appliances first, and wait 10 to 15 minutes to give the electrical system time to stabilize before connecting everything else.

Food safety
During a power failure, food kept in the refrigerator or freezer may become unsafe to eat. The following tips will help ensure food is stored safely in the event of a power outage:
- Keep your refrigerator door closed to maintain the temperature inside. Without power, the refrigerator section will keep foods cool for four to six hours if the door is kept closed.
- Throw out perishable foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and leftovers that have been at temperatures above 4°C for more than two hours.
- Keep your freezer door closed to maintain the temperature inside. Without power, an upright or chest freezer that is completely full will keep food frozen for about 48 hours - if the door is kept closed. A half-full freezer will keep food frozen for about 24 hours.
- Foods that have thawed in the freezer may be refrozen if they still contain ice crystals or are at 4°C or below. Evaluate each item separately.
- Partial thawing and refreezing may reduce the quality of some food, but food will remain safe to eat.

As always, residents are asked to check in on elderly neighbours or those who may need assistance.

The City reminds residents that 911 is an emergency number. Use the non-emergency police number 416-808-2222 for non-life threatening situations.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Jackie DeSouza, Director
Strategic Communications
416-397-5277
jdesouz@toronto.ca

Andrea Gonsalves, Senior Communications Advisor
Strategic Communications
416-397-4149
agonsalv@toronto.ca

 

 

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