Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Record rainfall for Toronto - more rain than Hazel in 1954

A GO train on the Richmond Hill line sits submerged in flood waters from the Don River. Passengers had to be rescued after several hours trapped. (CBC.ca)
More rain fell on Toronto in just a few hours Monday than normally fall in a six week period. As a matter of fact it was the most rain ever. The 126mm (5 inches) at Pearson Airport surpassed the daily record and all time record of 121mm that fell during the infamous Hurricane Hazel in October, 1954. That storm killed upwards of 90 people in the greater Toronto region. All that rain falling in just a few hours was too much for the sewer system or the Don and Humber Rivers to handle sending them over their banks and into streets and homes. Coming right at rush hour, the flooding trapped scores of drivers on area highways as well as 1200 commuters on a GO Train near Richmond Hill. They had to be rescued, two at a time, by a special police marine unit. The water also flooded electrical substations knocking out power to almost 300,000. This morning Hydro One says over 100,000 are still without power, mostly in the west end of the city. Meanwhile Toronto Hydro has 35,000 clients still in the dark. Hundreds of flights were diverted to other airports including Montreal and Ottawa. In Ottawa cots had to be set up in the terminal for people to sleep.

More thunderstorms are expected today from southern Ontario east towards Montreal as the air mass remains very warm and humid. Partly sunny skies and warm highs near 29C are expected in Montreal. The shower and thunderstorm risk will increase into Wednesday.

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