Apr 04, 2018
By Michael Kramer
A powerful windstorm sweeping through southern Ontario has knocked out power to tens of thousands of people – and disrupted travel in the air and on the roads.
Environment Canada issued a wind warning for the region – saying residents should brace for hazardous road conditions, reduced visibility and possible damage to buildings. The high winds are expected to taper off into the evening.
Hydro One said more than 80,000 of its customers were without power Wednesday afternoon – while Toronto Hydro said about 10,000 of its customers were without power in the city – and there were also numerous reports of downed power lines and uprooted trees.
Toronto Hydro spokeswoman Tori Gass said the blackouts scattered throughout the city were directly related to the wind – gusting upwards of 90 kilometres per hour – and extra crews were on standby and were working to fix the downed lines – and repair the outages.
Meanwhile, OPP say a total of up to 50 vehicles were involved in two major collisions on Highway 400 near Barrie.
Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says there were no serious injuries in the pile-ups – which he said “appears weather-related.”
There were also problems in the air – with national transportation agency NAV Canada slowing the rate of landings and departures at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.
The downtown Billy Bishop airport tweeted that “crews are working hard to keep flights moving – but wind and weather may pose greater challenges into the evening.”