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December 11, 2008
Icy an wet weather creates safety concerns
The City of Toronto reminds the public that weather changes common this time of year can pose dangers to people near local waterways. Flooding is one of the greatest risks to human life and property.

Accumulating rain and snow will increase the danger from creeks, streams and flood retention ponds as water levels rise. This precipitation can provide a slippery surface as riverbanks and waterways are turned to mud and ice. Receding water levels can also pose dangers.

Toronto Fire Services advises people to stay at least three metres (10 feet) from the edge of a river during rainy weather. Wind can also pose a problem. For people who have walking difficulties, walking along shorelines in winter can be especially tricky.

If going out for a walk, let someone know where you are going and when you would be back. Young children should always be within arm’s reach around water and natural ice. It is imperative that parents keep their children and pets away from the banks and off thin ice on waterways.

When going out for a walk with a pet, keep the pet on a leash. A retractable leash will ensure that the pet always stays under control and will help prevent it from wandering onto unsafe ice on a pond, lake or river.

Listen to media reports for flood conditions before going near rivers. Take a friend along if you go for a hike.
Do not attempt to rescue friends or pets from a river if they fall in because you may also be overcome by the force of the river current. Call 911 for help immediately. Too often, such a crisis becomes a rescue of not one but two people from the river.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Toronto Fire Services Media Line, 416-338-0763



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