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Power outages continue after Tuesday’s freezing rain

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Feb 8th, 2017

freezing-rain

Freezing rain in Toronto caused power outages and long delays on streetcar lines on Tuesday afternoon and evening, with some areas of the city still without power on Wednesday morning.

Downed power lines and ice accumulation on aging equipment caused outages in pockets throughout the city, with Toronto Hydro crews working through the night to fix the problems.

Toronto Hydro said that power would be restored near Brimley Road and Lawrence Avenue by 5:30 a.m., and near Burnhamthorpe Road and the East Mall by 6 a.m.

Spokesman Brian Buchan said there were 49 separate incidents of downed wires, leaving about 20,000 customers without power at various times overnight. There were never more than 11,000 or 12,000 people affected at any one time.

On Tuesday, ice-coated streetcar wires caused vehicles to lose power and shut down on Broadview Avenue, Dundas and King streets and beyond. Full streetcar service resumed around 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, pieces of ice fell from buildings at Yonge and Bloor streets and near Bay and Gerrard around 7 p.m.

Around 8 p.m., a woman slipped on the ice while crossing the road at Mortimer and Broadview avenues and was hit by a car. She was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital with serious injuries.

Earlier, Peel paramedics tweeted to say half of their 911 calls were for falls due to freezing rain.

Initially, Environment Canada said the freezing rain was expected to start in the morning. However, just after 8:30 a.m., the national weather agency said it would begin around noon. Both later and earlier than predicted, precipitation hit Burlington just before 10:30 a.m.

CityNews meteorologist Adam Stiles said the risk of freezing rain in the GTA would end overnight and then the temperature would drop on Wednesday.

On Monday, Air Canada issued a travel alert for Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Airport because of Tuesday’s weather. WestJet also said the weather could cause delays or cancellations in southern Ontario.

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