Frankenstorm winds to hit Toronto

by | Oct 29, 2012 | News

Hurricane Sandy winds to hit Toronto Monday night.

By Katherine Ward

Storm chasers have been working overtime this weekend, monitoring the projected path of ‘Frankenstorm,’ more commonly known as Hurricane Sandy.

According to Weather Network officials, the storm system hit New Jersey and New York Monday morning as a category 1 hurricane.

Reports indicate the New York Stock Exchange closed Monday because of the storm, the first time this has happened since 2001.

It is expected that by the time it hits Atlantic Canada, it will be downgraded to a tropical storm.

Senior climatologist at Environment Canada David Phillips told Humber News the storm could have lasting effects when it comes to Toronto later on Monday.

“It will essentially be a wind event,” Phillips said. “With all of the heavy rains we have had so far, the winds may create power outages that could yank trees out of their root balls and push lawn furniture around.”

Phillips says the weather system is expected to bring about 25 mm of precipitation and winds measuring between 60-90km/h.

He also says that this storm has done unpredictable things.

“Instead of moving north-east it is going to do a left hand turn from New York and move inland and that is a rare situation.”

At Humber, the college has already started the monitor the weather.

“We have our facilities, IT and public safety people already working together,”  said Pervez Ditta director of public safety. “Some staff will stay overnight to monitor the situation and see how the wind is affecting the campus.”

Ditta told Humber News the college will also put out sandbags in areas that might be affected by flooding, and continually update the college website with any alert information.

“If the college were to be closed for any reason, students can look online or call the security system to get up to date instructions,” he said.

While some of the chatter on social media raises doubt about the storm’s impact, the Canadian Red Cross is advising individuals to be prepared.

People need to be ready to take care of themselves for 72 hours in an emergency,” Tanya Elliot a Red Cross staff member told Humber News. “If there is a power outage, it could be a while before emergency teams get to you, so families need to have food, water, and first aid equipment.”

However, in the midst of all the warnings, Phillips acknowledges how people can get caught up by natural events.

His term ‘storm porn’ refers to this phenomenon.

“The media love to chase and follow these kinds of severe weather and it makes for good news,” he said. “But you never know because these things have a mind of their own. We would love to be able to guarantee everything but with weather you just can’t do that.”

With files from Liz Caven