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Toronto hit with major flooding

July 9, 2013

Toronto is Canada's largest city, and as such, any extreme weather that hits the metropolis is bound to affect thousands and potentially millions of people. According to CBC News, record-breaking rains of 3.9 inches slammed Toronto on the evening of July 8, leaving approximately 300,000 without electricity. As of the morning of July 9, over 200,000 of those individuals still lacked power, as electric companies Hydro One and Toronto Hydro have only been able to restore electricity to about 40,000 and 35,000 of their customers, respectively. Those affected can use their mobile phones and prepaid phone cards to make essential long-distance calls.

The news source reported that most of the rain hit travelers during their commute home out of the city. CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland stated that this event "even topped Hurricane Hazel's one-day rainfall total going back to 1954." 

The Associated Press reported that the first wave of rainfall caused one of the city's Go Transit double-decker commuter trains to stall on the tracks, stranding over 1,400 passengers in a harrowing situation. While Toronto police and firefighters responded quickly, using inflatable boats to ferry individuals to safety, the number of passengers caused the rescue to take seven hours to complete. Fortunately, few were hurt - approximately half a dozen people received on-scene medical attention - and none were killed.

Some subway service throughout Toronto and the vicinity has resumed, but a great deal of it remains shut down and officials could not provide estimates as to when it would fully return. A number of flights were also canceled due to the extreme rainfall. 

Wendy Drummond, a constable with Toronto police, told CBC News that despite the gravity of the situation, first responders were dealing with the aftermath well.

"Somebody looking at the scene may not understand everything that is happening, but rest assured that efforts, emergency response efforts, have been in the planning stages from the very onset," she said.

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