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June 1, 2012
City provides update on Union Station flooding
Commuters are being asked to avoid Union Station if possible for the remainder of the day due to the flooding in the area.

The flooding at the TTC subway station at Union Station is an isolated situation. There have been no other reports of widespread flooding throughout the city.

"City staff and agencies are working together to ensure that residents are safe and that services are resumed as quickly as possible," said Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

It is too early to determine the cause of the flooding at Union Station. City staff are investigating and working with all parties to identify the cause. Crews are currently working on pumping the water from Union Station and the surrounding area.

Toronto Police are directing traffic and are closing roads where necessary in the affected area. TTC routes are affected by the flooding at Union Station and commuters will experience delays this afternoon. Residents should refer to the TTC's Service Alerts web page for up to-date information. The website is GO Train and bus services are unaffected and continue to operate on schedule.

Environment Canada is predicting more rain for this evening and over the weekend. Residents and business are encouraged to take precautionary steps to protect their property in case of flooding and ensure their safety.

Personal preparedness
With the associated risks of flooded basements and power failures, residents are reminded to:
• Keep cell phone batteries charged
• Know the locations of all electrical panels, and water and gas shutoff valves in your home
• Keep flashlights where you can find them in the dark
• Consider using surge protectors to protect sensitive electronic equipment

There are several ways homeowners can protect themselves and their families in the event of a flood:
• Try to remain indoors and move valuable objects out of your basement to avoid water damage.
• Turn off your basement furnace and outside gas valve, and shut off the electricity.
• Stay out of the basement if flooding is imminent.
• Try to limit your driving, especially in low-lying areas where flooding is known to occur.
• Exercise caution when driving and avoid low lying roadways and underpasses; do not drive through deep water.
• If your car gets caught in a flood path, get out of the car and sit on the hood if it is not possible to walk or swim away.

For more information and advice about emergency preparedness contact the City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management at 416-392-4554, or visit

In the event of a flooded basement:
• Call the City of Toronto at 311 immediately to report a blocked basement drain or sewer back-up, or for information or assistance with a blocked drain, 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. During extreme weather conditions 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 on the City of Toronto’s website at

Tips for Power Outages
Your patience is needed and appreciated during weather-related power outages. Toronto Hydro will work to restore power as quickly as possible.

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, before calling Toronto Hydro.
• 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.

How to report a power outage:
• Call Toronto Hydro-Electric System’s Lights Out number at 416-542-8000. Add the number to your list of other emergency numbers.

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.

Protect your property
The City of Toronto advises residents and businesses to take precautions and protect their properties from possible flooding:
• Disconnect your downspouts from the sewer system and make sure they are draining properly, ideally 1.8 metres (six feet) from your basement walls.
• Be sure the grading around your home drains water away from all exterior walls.
• Check for and fix leaks in basement walls, floors, windows and foundations.
• Clear eavestroughs and downspouts of leaves and other debris preventing proper drainage.
• Repair or replace damaged weeping tile systems.
• Rake leaves away from sewer catch basins and other outside drains.
• Have a plumber or drain company inspect your home’s flood-proofing devices, including back-water valves, sump pumps, floor drains or caps, to ensure they are working properly.
• Do not pour grease down drains or flush food or other objects down toilets as this will block sewer connections causing sewers to back up during rain storms.
• For future reference, consider soft-surface landscaping that allows storm water to soak into the ground rather than run directly into the local sewer systems, such as increased sodded areas and porous pavement.
• Ensure your flood insurance is up to date.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 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
Wynna Brown
Strategic Communications



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