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Updated: Mon, 30 Dec 2013 13:37:41 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Toronto ice storm: 725 in dark as power slowly returns



Toronto Hyrdro workers work to restore power following an ice storm in Toronto, December 27, 2013. Over 30,000 residents were left without power in Toronto Friday since the storm hit on December 22, local media reported. Mark Blinch/Reuters

Toronto Hyrdro workers work to restore power following an ice storm in Toronto, December 27, 2013. Over 30,000 residents were left without power in Toronto Friday since the storm hit on December 22, local media reported. Mark Blinch/Reuters

About 725 customers are still without electricity in Toronto, but everyone's power should be fully restored today, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said, more than a week after an ice storm hit Eastern Canada and knocked out electricity to about 300,000.

Ford and Toronto Hydro officials gave what would be their final daily update on the power outages that came in the wake of a powerful ice storm two weekends ago. 

All power, with the exception of some unforeseen individual cases, is expected to be back Monday.

“I want to thank the residents of the city for their patience during this terrible storm,” Ford said. “We have never had a storm like this in Toronto’s history and hopefully we will won’t have one like this again.

“It’s truly remarkable, what people have done in this city to help each other … sacrificing and giving up family time over the holidays."

Four warming centres remain open Monday as crews continue to work. 

An emotional Anthony Haines, CEO of Toronto Hydro, thanked all the crews who worked round the clock.

"We were all tired, but we never stopped," Haines said.

He also urged anyone still without power to call Toronto Hydro. 

Increased emergencies

Earlier Monday, emergency response officials said the influx of calls they began receiving after the storm has not stopped.

More than a week after the ice storm, emergency calls remain at 10 times the normal volume.

EMS emergency medical dispatcher Rocky Ruffalo said the challenge is prioritizing those calls.

“One of the toughest calls to field was people that were on home oxygen and with the power being out, they knew that they only had a specific period of time left for their home oxygen,” Ruffalo said.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said that after all power is restored and it’s business as usual in the city, a debriefing on what was and wasn’t done efficiently will be required.

In Sunday's briefing, Ford said restoring power and repairing damage from the ice storm costs the city approximately $1 million per day.

“So it’s going to cost Toronto Hydro $10 million on the high side,” he said, “The very low side is about $8 million.”

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