Surviving Sandy: What’s next for Toronto residents?
Now that “Frankenstorm” has come and gone, Humber students and Toronto residents are wondering when life will get back to normal.
By Elton Hobson
Slideshow by Patricia Brotzel
Thousands were still without power across the city on Tuesday afternoon as a result of wind speeds that reached above 70 km/h in some places, according to Environment Canada.
“As of earlier [Tuesday] morning there were approximately 45,000 people still without power,” Tanya Bruckmueller, a spokesperson for Toronto Hydro, told Humber News.
“East York, Scarborough, Leaside, the Upper Beaches and the Junction suffered the worst of the power outages, although “everywhere outside of the downtown core was affected,” Bruckmueller said.
Despite the number of citizens affected by power outages falling from 60,000 last night to 45,000 this morning, that number is expected to rise again, according to Toronto Hydro.
So when can Toronto residents expects the lights to come back on?
“Based on the initial damage assessment, [repairs] could be pushed perhaps back to tomorrow or even Thursday,” Bruckmueller said.
If you are experiencing continuing power outages in your area, you are strongly urged to contact Toronto Hydro immediately, she said.
Power outages were also the chief cause of school cancellations Tuesday. The Toronto District School Board announced that the following schools would be closed for the day because of power outages:
-East York CI
-East York Alternative
-Oak Park CTR
-Keele St. PS
-St Andrew’s JHS
-Westmount & Hilltop
Some Toronto commuters awoke to an unwelcome surprise Tuesday morning. Service was temporarily halted on the 501 and 504 streetcar lines, two of the city’s most popular transit routes in the downtown core.
“The problem was caused by high winds knocking down overhead wires,” Jessica Martin, spokesperson for the Toronto Transit Commission, told Humber News. “If we lose those wires, then obviously we cannot power the streetcars on those lines.”
The good news for commuters was that service resumed along those lines as of 8:54 A.M. The TTC was working with Toronto Hydro to clear the downed lines.
Storm clouds on the horizon?
According to Environment Canada, the wind warning has been lifted across the city, but the weather agency is calling for continuing rain until at least Friday.
What’s next for Humber students?
The school won’t be affected by Hurricane Sandy, Chris Whitaker, President of Humber College, told Humber News.
“Right now, it looks like it’s business as usual,” he said.
“I know other parts of [Toronto] weren’t as fortunate as us, and experienced power outages. We’re planning on continuing regular operations tonight, tomorrow, and into foreseeable future.”
The college never considered closing its doors, Whitaker.
“There are a couple of key decision points where we would cancel school in this situation: if there was no power, if we lost our water, or if there was flooding of buildings,” Whitaker said.