• December 25, 2013 12:36 PM
  • - General

City of Toronto ice storm update

TORONTO, Dec. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - The City of Toronto is continuing to provide updated information on ongoing impacts and the City's response to the ice storm. Toronto's Emergency Operations Centre continues to support the ongoing response efforts.

Extreme Cold Weather Alert
The Extreme Cold Weather Alert has been cancelled.

Toronto Hydro
Toronto Hydro is reporting that approximately 72,000 customers are now without power. Hydro crews are continuing to work around the clock to respond. Additional personnel have now come in from Sault Ste Marie, Windsor, Ottawa and Manitoba to assist with the restoration efforts.

Toronto Fire Service
Toronto Fire is warning the public not to operate propane, natural gas or charcoal barbecues inside as they can create a dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning hazard if not property vented. Also, do not use a stove or camping gear for heating your home, as they can similarly create a carbon monoxide poisoning and burn hazard. Ensure battery backup is operating for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

Community Care Access Centre Clients
Community Care Access Centre clients who use home oxygen and have concerns can call 310-2222 (no area code required) for assistance. All others are asked to contact their oxygen supplier for assistance.

TTC
TTC is operating on a Sunday Schedule today. Subway and most routes start at 9:00 a.m. Please check www.ttc.ca for schedule details and service alerts.

GO Transit
GO Transit is operating on a Sunday Schedule today. Please check www.gotransit.com for schedule details and service updates.

Toronto Roads and Traffic
The number of signalized intersections without power continues to decrease. There are an estimated 200 traffic signals without power.  Salting operations are continuing on collector roads, local roads and sidewalks, with TTC stops a priority. Parking consideration will be provided for residents who park on the street beyond posted times due to limited access to icy driveways.

The following roads in Scarborough are closed to traffic, as they are not safe due to fallen power lines and trees:

  • Old Kingston Road from Military Trail to Manse Road
  • Military Trail from Old Kingston Road to Bobmar Road
  • St. Andrews Road from Meldazy Drive to Suraty Avenue
  • Colonel Danforth Trail - Bonacres Avenue to dead end
  • Pinegrove Road at South Edgely Avenue
  • Neilson Road at Finch Avenue

Food, Water, Warmth and Rest
The City is operating 12 locations where vulnerable residents and those who need assistance can access food, water, warmth and rest. Pets are welcome. Approximately 1,000 people were accommodated in these locations last night.

Toronto Community Centre locations are as follows:
Dennis R Timbrell Community Centre, 29 St. Denis Dr. (Eglinton/Don Mills)
Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Rd. (Neilson/Finch)
Agincourt Community Centre, 31 Glen Watford Rd. (Sheppard/Midland)
Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane St. (between Finch and Steeles)
Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Ave. (Yonge/Finch)
Joseph P Piccininni Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Ave. W. (St Clair/Keele)
Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard St. E. (Pape/Gerrard)
Lawrence Heights Middle School, 50 Highland Hill (between Ranee and Dane)
Edithvale Community Centre, 131 Finch Ave. W. (between Bathurst and Yonge)
Pleasantview Community Centre, 545 Van Horne Ave. (between Edmonton and Brian)
East York Collegiate Institute, 650 Cosburn Ave. (Coswell/Coxwell)
McGregor Park Community Centre, 2231 Lawrence Ave. E. (Lawrence/Kennedy)

In addition, 13 Toronto Police Service facilities have been identified as having community rooms available for use 24/7 as warming centres:

Division 11 - 2054 Davenport Road (Davenport/Osler)
Division 12 - 200 Trethewey Drive (Trethewey/Black Creek)
Division 14 - 350 Dovercourt Road (College/Dovercourt)
Division 22 - 3699 Bloor Street West (Bloor West/Dundas West)
Division 23 - 5230 Finch Avenue West (Kipling/Finch)
Division 31 - 40 Norfinch Road (Norfinch/Finch West)
Division 33 - 50 Upjohn Road (York Mills/Don Mills)
Division 42 - 242 Milner Avenue (Milner/Markham)
Division 43 - 4331 Lawrence Ave. E (Lawrence Ave. E/ Kingston Road)
Division 51 - 51 Parliament Street (Front/Parliament)
Division 52 - 255 Dundas Street West (LOBBY ONLY)
Toronto Police Service College - 70 Birmingham Street (Birmingham/Fifth)
Toronto Police Service Headquarters - 40 College Street (College/Bay)

Donations of healthy, non-allergenic, non-perishable foods such as snack foods and beverages are being accepted at warming centres. Due to food safety guidelines, the public is asked not to bring home-made food to the warming/reception centres.

Toronto Public Libraries
All branches are closed on December 25 and 26. Service updates are available at http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca.

Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is closed today, as scheduled. Updates: http://www.torontozoo.com

Casa Loma
Casa Loma is closed today, as scheduled. Updates: http://www.casaloma.org

Parks, Forestry and Recreation
The public is reminded that trees remain covered in ice which means that parks (anywhere near trees) are very dangerous, particularly in wooded valleys, near slopes and under trees. Park pathways have not been cleared and should not be used. Playgrounds near trees should also be avoided due to falling branches. Everyone should use extreme caution around parks to prevent slips and falls and should avoid walking under or near trees.

Parks staff that have appropriate chainsaw training and equipment are being deployed to assist in clearing tree debris from roads and paths.

Parks crews will continue to salt and clear debris, focusing on Reception Centres, Community Recreation Centres, parking lots and well-used locations such as rinks.

Two of the City's 51 Outdoor Artificial Ice Rinks are currently closed (Broadlands and Ledbury). Other rink pads remain open for skating purposes, but adjacent rink buildings are closed at many locations due to power outages. Many of these locations will close early due to no lighting availability.

Tree Debris
We anticipate that the clearing of fallen trees and tree debris will begin on December 27 on City roadways. Staff are currently pushing tree debris to the side of the roads to make them safe and passable.  The priority is to ensure public safety. Where debris is not obstructing the road, cleanup will take place at a later date. Clearing of all tree debris will take approximately four to six weeks.

If debris is from trees on private property, homeowners should contact a private contractor to clear away.

If you live in the Asian long-horned beetle quarantine area (see map and further information) in Etobicoke, the City crews and private contractors will dispose of this debris in the prescribed manner. Do not take this wood out of the Federal quarantine area.

Holiday Waste Pickup
Residents are reminded that there is no collection on Christmas Day or New Year's Day.  This week and next week, curbside collection on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will move forward one day. This means that Wednesday collection moves to Thursday, Thursday collection moves to Friday, and Friday collection moves to Saturday. Changes are reflected in the residential collection calendar. Due to downed trees and hydro wires, collection vehicles are not able to reach some areas. There may also be delays.  Residents should leave their materials out until they are collected.   If required, additional collection crews will work on Monday (not a regularly scheduled collection day).

Food Waste
If you have organic material (food waste) that cannot fit in the Green Bin, please set it out in a clear plastic bag. Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.

Preventing Frozen Pipes
If you don't have heat for your home and the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a trickle of water so there is some movement of water in pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing.

If you are leaving your home because of no heat, you can shut off the main service valve in your basement and open your lowest tap to drain the water out of your plumbing lines to prevent them from freezing.

Food Safety
For more information about when to keep and when to throw out refrigerated foods, visit http://www.toronto.ca/health/food_safety  and click on the power outages link on the bottom of the page.

Emergency Preparedness
Information and advice about emergency preparedness are available at http://www.toronto.ca/oem.

Thank you
The City of Toronto would like to extend a sincere thank you to the many partners who have helped in the aftermath of this storm. This includes the Province of Ontario and other municipalities that have sent hydro crews. The City would also like to thank residents who have assisted our crews by moving tree branches off of the roads and onto boulevards.

Social Media Updates
For updates during an emergency event and other City of Toronto information, follow @TorontoComms on Twitter. The City will be using #citystorm when providing updates on the storm.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.


SOURCE City of Toronto

For further information:

Media contact: Deborah Brown, Strategic Communications, 416-919-6501, dbrown3@toronto.ca