Thousands in Toronto without power after Sandy
Published Monday, October 29, 2012 8:47AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 30, 2012 11:09PM EDT
Thousands of residents across Ontario were still without electricity Tuesday night as hydro crews scrambled to restore power in the wake of post-tropical storm Sandy.
Toronto Hydro said roughly 4,500 people are still without power in the city and may be in the dark until Wednesday evening and possibly even Thursday. The utility said power had been restored to more than 90 per cent of the 60,000 customers who were without electricity early Tuesday morning.
Energy Minister Chris Bentley said earlier Tuesday that Toronto was one of the cities hardest hit by Sandy, along with Waterloo, Peterborough, Owen Sound and Sarnia, as the superstorm made its way inland from the U.S. eastern seaboard.
At the peak of the outages, 150,000 Ontarians were without power.
“Given the progress crews have made, the number will come down,” Bentley told reporters during a news conference. “But of course we are at the mercy of the weather and rains and wind are expected and can cause further outages.”
As Sandy wheeled through the northeastern U.S., it left behind a wake of destruction responsible for flooding, widespread power outages and at least 48 deaths. The storm walloped parts of Canada with strong winds and heavy rain overnight Monday and into Tuesday morning.
An update by the Canadian Hurricane Centre issued at 2 p.m. ET noted that Sandy had lost all of its tropical characteristics and continues to lose force as it presses closer to the eastern Great Lakes.
Damaging winds that accompanied the storm weakened throughout the day, with Environment Canada ending the final wind warning in the Sarnia-Lambton region of southwestern Ontario early Tuesday afternoon.
Areas in Toronto hardest hit by the storm included East York, Scarborough, Upper Beaches, Leaside and the Junction, where downed trees causes massive damage to cars and homes throughout the city.
Hydro One, which covers the largest geographic region in the province, had about 8,000 customers without power Tuesday night, which was down from the 90,000 that was reported earlier in the day.
Power outages forced the Toronto District School Board to close 16 of its schools Tuesday, while the Catholic board closed two schools. A number of private schools were also closed throughout the city following the widespread power outages.
Travel plans were snarled by Sandy as roughly a quarter of flights from Toronto Pearson International Airport were cancelled Tuesday. Porter Airlines cancelled all flights to and from Newark, Washington and Boston and warned that further delays may occur Wednesday.
Though Sandy was downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone before it made landfall in New Jersey Monday night, the storm was still packing hurricane-force winds.
Police said strong winds were likely to blame for the death of one woman who succumbed to her injuries after being struck by a piece of debris that fell from a sign outside a Staples Depot near Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue around 7:10 p.m.
The sign was seen flapping in the wind after the woman was struck.
In addition to the 48 people killed in seven U.S. states, Sandy killed 69 people in the Caribbean before making its way up the Atlantic.
With files from The Canadian Press