toronto rolling blackouts

Toronto map of rolling Hydro blackouts

As Toronto's post deluge clean-up continues tonight, Toronto Hydro is triggering rolling blackouts in an area bound by St. Clair, Spadina, Jane, and the lake shore in an effort to ease strain on the fragile electricity grid.

Earlier today Rob Ford described the city's power network as "hanging on a thread." Flood-damaged substations at Richview and Manby in the western portion of downtown are making restoring regular service something of a challenge.

A spokesperson for Toronto Hydro said around 23,000 customers - that's buildings, not people - will see their power cycle on and off until late Tuesday evening (fingers crossed.) A total of 43,000 hydro customers are still without power city-wide.

Until recently, it wasn't clear how the sporadic blackouts were organized - the official outage map is having a failure all of its own. Now there's a handy collaborative Google Map assembled by Kerry Wall, a web tech at CBC News and victim of the darkness, to help keep track of the cuts.

A moment the lights came back on for good (fingers crossed again) in the area bound by Dundas West south to Queensway and Lower Spadina west to Dufferin.

Here are the areas currently experiencing "load shedding," the technical name for what's going on.

UPDATE: 15:27

Just 600 without power now according to Toronto Hydro. They're still urging frugal use of electricity.

UPDATE: 14:56

Lights are still coming back on in Etobicoke according to Toronto Hydro. Down to just 5,000 customers without electricity.

UPDATE: 14:02

Toronto Hydro now says 9,000 customers are without power in Etobicoke and engineers hope to (finally) restore power by this evening. More than 300,000 gallons of water had to be pumped out of the flooded Manby station before the equipment could be inspected for damage.

According to Toronto Hydro's Twitter page, the failure at Manby had a domino effect, knocking out 17 more stations.

UPDATE: 10:25

Just to draw your attention to a comment below by Kerry Wall, the creator of the map.

"Toronto Hydro released Twitpics of Google Maps of the areas they say are affected by the Manby station flood. I added them to the map. I still don't have information about other areas affected."

"There may be rolling blackouts today. I'll do my best to keep the map up to date based on Toronto Hydro information, but it remains publicly editable in case anybody wants to help."

UPDATE: 23:30

Hydro Toronto says the rolling blackouts have stopped for the night but more could be on the way tomorrow. 20,000 customers are still without power.


View Incomplete crowdsourced Toronto blackout map in a larger map

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: darkwaders/blogTO Flickr pool.


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