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Updated: Wed, 10 Jul 2013 19:25:43 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Toronto under severe thunderstorm watch



Toronto under severe thunderstorm watch

The Greater Toronto Area is bracing for another round of potential thunderstorms later today that could bring high winds and heavy rainfall to the region, which is still mopping up from a torrential downpour earlier this week. Other parts of southern Ontario could also be hit hard.

- Get the latest Toronto weather, traffic and transit info

- See photos from Monday's storm

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement on Wednesday warning of the "development of severe thunderstorms with large hail, damaging winds or heavy rainfall" after an earlier advisory was temporarily lifted.

"Wind gusts to 90 km/h are possible with these storms, as well as hail 2 cm in diameter and heavy downpours up to 50 mm in an hour," the agency said

The weather advisory covers the Windsor area north to Sarnia and east through Parry Sound-Muskoka, Hamilton, Niagara and Toronto. Toonie-size hail has already fallen in the Kitchener-area community of St. Marys.

- Read about the severe weather warning in Hamilton

- See hail pictures from St. Marys and read about Kitchener-Waterloo weather

The new system was pushing in from the U.S. as Toronto continues to recover from severe flooding caused by record-setting rainfall.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said on Tuesday that the 126 mm of rain that fell on the city in just two hours a day earlier was "unprecedented."

"Toronto has persevered; we have weathered the storm," said Ford, stressing the need to reduce electricity consumption. "This is crucial that we all reduce our electricity for today to help relieve the strain on our hydro system. We're hanging on by a thread right now."

The Toronto Transit Commission was able to restore subway service between Jane and Kipling stations by Wednesday afternoon following previous disruptions caused by flooding.

The storm caused widespread power outages, and as of about 3:30 p.m., Toronto Hydro said that about 600 customers remained without electricity in the west end.

The blackouts were primarily in the city's west end and the utility said it "may be necessary" to resume rotating outages in the morning to prevent overloading.

Toronto Hydro said on Tuesday that customers in four major areas would be affected by "load shedding," which means planned rotating blackouts. Those four areas were:

- North of Nassau Street, south to King Street West; West of Shaw Street, east of Charlotte Street.

- South of St. Clair Ave West, south to Queen Street West; west of Jane Street east to Spadina Avenue.

- Dundas St West to Lake Ontario; Roncesvalles Avenue east to Spadina Avenue.

- Old Weston Road, south to Queen Street West; Sunnyside Avenue, east to Lansdowne Avenue.

"We stopped those at midnight, and we're hoping that we won't have to do them again and inconvenience people," said Toronto Hydro spokeswoman Andrea Corkum.

- Tips for staying safe after Toronto's flash floods

- Get the latest weather forecast for your area

There are still reports of isolated outages in some areas.

Corkum said crews were working to "re-energize" a hydro station that would restore power to the thousands of customers in the west end of the city who have been without electricity since Monday night.

Hydro transformer flooded

The CBC's Steven Bull said that one of the two stations that went down had more than a million litres of water pumped out.

Toronto Hydro confirmed that Manby Transformer Station on Kipling Avenue in Etobicoke had been flooded since Monday and supply had been cut to 17 hydro stations in the east, south and midtown areas.

- Toronto Hydro restores power to almost all customers

As of 11:30 a.m., only two of those stations were back online, and the utility said they were waiting to confirm an estimated restoration for thousands of customers without electricity.

The city has also received about 2,500 calls from residents, mostly in the west end, who are dealing with flooded basements.

General manager of Toronto Water, Lou Di Gironimo told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway that "trying to get our crews out to all those homes is a challenge" as workers battle traffic delays caused by disabled traffic lights.

Police continued their search for a missing 76-year-old man last seen in the Yonge Street and Finch Avenue West area.

The man, identified as Walter Thompson, is between five-feet-six and five-feet-nine inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds, with grey hair.

Thompson, who wears glasses, was last seen wearing a red long-sleeved shirt with dark blue pants and black shoes.

He may have been driving a grey four-door 2007 Chevrolet Malibu with Ontario licence plate 245 WCB.

External Links

Toronto blackouts map - Toronto Hydro and crowdsourced data

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