Swift, severe thunderstorm hits GTA, causes power outages and flooding
Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2018 10:23AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 14, 2018 5:00PM EDT
A fast-hitting thunderstorm travelled through Toronto and many parts of Southern Ontario late Wednesday afternoon, which led to scattered outages, flooding and downed hydro poles in some areas.
Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch Wednesday morning for areas including Toronto, Hamilton, Halton, Peel, York and Durham regions, London, Caledonia, Barrie and Peterborough.
Scattered thunderstorms developed throughout the afternoon as a cold front moved through the region. The storm hit quickly, lasting about half an hour in some regions, bringing high wind gusts of 90 to 100 km/hr.
The roof of the Eaton’s Centre sprung a leak. Video footage shows water pouring down into the centre of the mall, pooling near the escalators.
A spokesperson for Cadillac Fairview said their property team has detected the source of the leak and has closed off the impacted area. A few retail stores have been closed for the evening.
A few of the smaller, residential roadways also experienced flooding, but most of the damage occurred due to downed trees and hydro wires.
Toronto police said their communications officers received “an influx of calls pertaining to weather hazards.”
Police responded to reports of a hydro pole that fell on top of a vehicle, trapping occupants inside. There were no injuries.
Trees were uprooted across the city, blocking roads and crushing cars parked on the street.
At 4:30 p.m., Toronto Hydro tweeted saying they were starting to see “scattered outages due to the storm.” By 5:15 p.m., approximately 10,000 customers were without power.
Tori Gass, a spokesperson for Toronto Hydro, told CP24 that most of the outages are in Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and the east end of the Beaches.
“Unfortunately, this is something we have seen before with storms this,” Gass said. “Crews are starting to get to work and are assessing the damage.”’
Gass said the fact that the storm was short-lived will help in repairs; however, she was unable to provide an estimated time for power restoration.
Toronto Hydro warned residents to stay at least 10 metres away from downed wires.
Environment Canada warned Toronto residents in a weather advisory that “strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles.”
They also said to expect hail and locally-heavy rain.
The wet weather tapered off in the early evening, making way for sunshine and summer temperatures in the coming days.
Environment Canada is calling for sunny skies and a high of 22 C on Thursday and more sunshine Friday with a high of 26 C.
The weekend is looking even better, with a mix of sun and cloud both days and a high of 27 C and 30 C respectively.