Experts look at whether Brampton was hit by a downburst
Chris Fox and Sandie Benitah, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, May 29, 2013 3:22PM EDT
Experts with Environment Canada are taking a look to see what fueled a major storm in Brampton that caused severe wind damage in the area.
Mitch Meredith, a severe weather meteorologist, said it looks like the damage came from a downburst.
“We’re looking at the radar and the site and we think it's a weak downburst that happened,” he told CP24.
He said winds were at least 90 kilometres-an-hour, which is the equivalent of a tornado of the weakest strength on the Enhanced Fujita scale.
“But significant damage has occurred so we are still investigating a few locations in Brampton,” he said.
Meanwhile, the storm cause major headaches for commuters on the Don Valley Parkway.
All lanes in both directions south of the Bloor Street were closed because of major flooding.
The Don River overflowed onto the DVP amid heavy rainfall early Wednesday morning, forcing police to shut down the highway between Bloor Street and the Gardiner Expressway at around 5 a.m.
The southbound lanes then reopened at around 9:30 a.m., but the northbound lanes remain closed until about 10 a.m.
At its peak, the flood water submerged the steel guardrails alongside the highway and crested a barrier that separates the northbound and southbound lanes.
The flooding also submerged a stretch of GO Transit track west of the DVP, stalling service to Oriole and Old Cummer stations on the Richmond Hill line.
“This is the worst (flooding) I have ever seen (on the DVP),” Const. Clint Stibbe told CP24 early Wednesday morning. “We have a full six lane flood plus the ditches as well and it is just a lot of water.”
Environment Canada had issued a heavy rainfall warning for Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area overnight, warning of rainfall amounts of up to 50 mm overnight.
That warning was lifted at around 5:30 a.m., but at that point the damage had already been done.
Other road closures as a result of flooding include the intersection of Jane Street and Wilson Avenue in the city's west end and a stretch of Torbram Road near Steeles Avenue in Brampton
There are isolated showers in the forecast for the rest of the day, but sustained rain is not expected.
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