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DVP, island ferries, at risk due to persistent rainfall and flooding

CityNews | posted Friday, May 5th, 2017

The City of Toronto is warning a possible full closure of the Don Valley Parkway could happen Friday afternoon due to the continuing rain.

Officials are concerned about flooding on the highway and could shut the roadway down as early as 3 p.m., according to a press release Thursday night. They are asking commuters coming into the downtown to consider taking public transit.

Ferries to and from the Toronto islands are cancelled, except for the ferry to Ward’s Island, and that one is only for essential travellers.

Toronto and the GTA are under a rainfall warning and Environment Canada has updated the expected rainfall totals for the region to between 50 and 90 millimetres of rain through Saturday.

As of 4 a.m. Friday, the city of Toronto had already received 25 millimetres of rain while Hamilton had received 38.3 millimetres.

City of Toronto officials are also preparing for an evacuation of the islands if there is major flooding, the Toronto Star reports. A ferry is stationed on Hanlan Point for any of the 700 residents on the island that need to evacuate.

The Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) has issued a flood watch for areas around rivers and streams. A paddling excursion on the Don River has also been cancelled.

Anne Marie Aikins with Metrolinx said they have a diversion plan in place for the Richmond Hill GO train corridor should it flood.

“We have been out there monitoring the corridor. We also monitor Lakeshore East and anything else that is susceptible to flooding,” Aikins said.

In 2013, hundreds of commuters had to be rescued from GO trains by police using boats after the tracks flooded.

The precipitation will stick around over the weekend. Another 5-10 millimetres of rain could accumulate on Saturday and flurries are possible north and west of the GTA on Sunday.

The anticipated rainfall comes with the rising waters of Lake Ontario already at unprecedented levels this season. The TRCA said the damage has been done to the shores and it will take years for it to return to its original state.


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