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December 30, 2004
Mild temperatures could cause flooding
Toronto is experiencing mild temperatures and the resulting snowmelt could
cause flooding. The weather forecast for the next couple of days predicts rain
and temperatures as high as nine degrees Celsius. These conditions, coupled
with last week's heavy snowfalls, could mean that some streets and properties
will experience pooling water and flooding.

"City of Toronto crews will be working to clear the city's catch basins and
will remove snow and slush from as many as possible," says Gary Welsh of
Transportation Services. "Catch basins blocked with snow, slush or debris could
cause flooding and it is important to keep them clear."

Toronto residents can avoid flooding around their homes by safely clearing snow
and slush from street and backyard catch basins (sewer grates) so water can
flow into the sewer system. The system can accommodate the water from the
anticipated snowmelt.

"Residents who choose to remove snow from catch basins located near their homes
should do so carefully and safely and should check for traffic before
proceeding," says Paul Clements, manager of Inspection Services.

Homeowners can protect their basements and help prevent flooding by following
these tips:
  • Ensure that area and stairwell drains are kept clear of debris and snow to allow proper drainage.
  • Clear snow or water from basement window wells to avoid it seeping through window frames.
  • Shovel the snow from outside walls.
  • Where possible, make a drainage path for water from the sides and backyard of the house to the street's drainage system.
  • Ensure that water overflowing from eavestroughs and downspouts runs away from the house.
  • Safely clear snow and ice from within 45 centimeters (18 inches) of eavestroughs (consider hiring a contractor).
  • Clear snow from roof vents to improve air circulation in the roof and to ensure very moist air does not freeze.

Residents experiencing basement flooding can call the customer call centre for
water anytime at 416-338-8888 and select the appropriate prompt. Additional
information on how to deal with basement flooding, including insurance claim
information, can be found on the City's Web site at basement_flooding.htm

If residents notice streets with a large amount of pooling water or low-lying
areas that cannot drain, they can call the customer call centre for
transportation anytime at 416-338-9999 and select the appropriate prompt.

Media contacts:
Paulette den Elzen, Senior Communications Co-ordinator,
Olga Lukich, Senior Communications Co-ordinator, 416-397-0281
Steve Johnston, Senior Communications Co-ordinator, 416-392-4391



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