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Toronto Hydro predicts a dark Christmas

Posted by Derek Flack / December 23, 2013

Toronto ice stormToronto Hydro made some headway restoring power to the ice-coated city overnight, bring the outage number down from 300,000 to roughly 225,000. That's the good news. Less encouraging is the revelation that many homes without power might not have serviced restored by Christmas. Still-frozen power lines continue to fall victim to increasing winds, even as crews restore power to portions of the grid that have been offline since the wee hours on December 22.

The TTC has had more success, with streetcar service restored across the city. There do, however, remain widespread service interruptions. There's no subway service on the Sheppard and SRT Lines, as well as between Woodbine and Kennedy. Trains are also bypassing North York Centre.

Although Mayor Rob Ford has decided against declaring a state of emergency, Toronto Hydro has solicited help from U.S. utility crews for cleanup efforts, which it hopes will expedite the process of restoring power to the hundreds of thousands still in the cold. The outage map has also finally been updated, and it paints a rather scary picture. Toronto is still very much under siege from this storm.

Check out photos of the storm and its aftermath here.

Do you have your photos of the storm? Tag them on Instagram with #iceTO or add them directly to our Toronto Ice Storm gallery.

Photo by Andrea Williams in the blogTO Flickr pool.



iSkyscraper / December 23, 2013 at 10:00 am
Having no power is lousy, but burst pipes that ruin your house would make for a very unmerry Christmas. If you have to leave your house and have no heat, turn off the water and open a basement sink to drain most of the lines. You really don't want to come home to any frozen pipes.
Warren / December 23, 2013 at 10:01 am
If I see another broken link to an outage map I'm gonna fucking kill sonebody
SYSS Mouse replying to a comment from Warren / December 23, 2013 at 10:18 am
The Toronto Hydro website itself seems to be down..
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / December 23, 2013 at 10:31 am
Turning off the water is okay, only if there is no water left in the pipe. They have to be drained, including the water heater (turn off the electricity to turn water heater if you do drain it).

If the water cannot be drained, let a very small stream continue, so long as the water keeps moving. The cold water coming from the street has a temperature of about 12°±. Warmer than outside. So there is some heat from the "cold" water. Just don't let it freeze, which will happen from water that does not move through the pipes.
Samuel / December 23, 2013 at 10:32 am
Where is our erstwhile mayor during all this? Didn't hear a peep from him during the worst of the storm on Saturday. Then when I did, he was telling people to call 911 to report downed power lines. The cops responded by asking people to call Hydro instead. Why can't Ford do anything right? He refuses to call it a state of emergency even though close to a million people have no power and the temperature is dropping? Is he scared that he will lose the only powers he has left? Sure sounds like it.
Marc replying to a comment from Warren / December 23, 2013 at 10:35 am
At least prison has power.
iSkyhigh replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / December 23, 2013 at 10:37 am
Ah yes, advice from little Miss Expert again. I know, just invite everyone to your house.
Me replying to a comment from Warren / December 23, 2013 at 10:38 am
Really? You're going to kill someone over not being able to get on the internet? Wow. You're so impressive.
Nitipiki / December 23, 2013 at 10:55 am
Please stop calling the Scarborough SRT a subway! Scarbs has just 2 subway stops: Warden and Kennedy, and they are on the Bloor Danforth line.
Vinnie / December 23, 2013 at 10:59 am
Calm down Vinnie. It's not always all about you.
Vinnie / December 23, 2013 at 11:00 am
I mean Warren. Calm down, Warren. It's a broken web link - you'll survive.
h / December 23, 2013 at 11:01 am
Time to call in the military TO! Wait, you have the most amazing mayor in the universe so that won't be necessary. RF says you are welcome.
Me replying to a comment from Vinnie / December 23, 2013 at 11:11 am
He's Canadian so he thinks he won't. "IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD!! OH NOOOOOO!!!!! IT'S WINTERRRRR!!!!"
Marc replying to a comment from Me / December 23, 2013 at 11:16 am
I don't understand how a country that has experienced winter for 150 years is continually upset and surprised by the existence of winter.
lolzzz replying to a comment from h / December 23, 2013 at 11:50 am
Call in the Army, and Centre of the Universe. Wow, you win the Cliché-O-Matic prize today, Sunshine! Guarantee you are from the West, and most likely Calgary, because no other Canadians seem to have such a big chip on their shoulder. No local news for you to follow, so you are addicted to BlogTO?

We'll get zero funding from the federal government because we are not Alberta, in the same way we got pathetic funding from them in the 1998 ice storm because we were not Quebec.

Next election, how about Ontario Wants In?
Me replying to a comment from Marc / December 23, 2013 at 11:58 am
no. replying to a comment from Marc / December 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm
I'm pretty sure there's quite a bit of difference between a fatal on-going ice storm and "winter".
Gabe replying to a comment from Marc / December 23, 2013 at 12:17 pm
I don't think anyone is surprised. Winter has brought issues and challenges for the past 150 years. Those that are effected deal with the issues and communicate to get things resolved.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / December 23, 2013 at 01:58 pm
You are right, I see a number of public statements now about just leaving the water running on low flow. Turning off water valves and draining pipes is a more advanced subject and many not familiar with the insides of a Home Depot would be better off just letting the water run a bit. Sorry if I confused anyone -- just trying to highlight the issue. I've had water leaks, they suck, not an item to treat lightly. Good luck out there.

Meanwhile the story after the storm is definitely going to be the whole non-declaration of an emergency, as Rob tries to, yet again, either cling to power or be penny wise and pound foolish, or both:

To me it sounds like shades of Tea Party rhetoric. In the US the Tea Party is always against FEMA, the federal emergency management agency. The whole government-costs-money, we-don't-need-government agenda. Why can't Ford be more like Chris Christie, the governor of NJ, who is very conservative but certainly not one to throw away government assistance in emergencies (see: Sandy)? Oh yeah, Christie has brains, Ford does not.
jeff / December 23, 2013 at 02:10 pm
Be prepared for any extra large water bill if you let the water keep running even on a trickle. If you live in an old house with bad insulation the temperature inside your house might be dropping below zero but if the temp in your house is 5 degrees or even 3 degrees I would say it isn't likely that your pipes will freeze. Yeah, if you have pipes in outside walls and it is windy/ etc then the cold air could get in and freeze. I think the idea of pipes freezing at today's temperatures is an over reaction... If it drops to -10 tonight and stays like that for more than a day... then, yeah, bigger chance.
iKnowmorethanyounonot replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / December 23, 2013 at 02:12 pm
You mean, why can't whoever is in power here as they took Rob's away. Funny your expert advice was wrong......not surprising though. An emergency isn't when you can't charge your iPhone.
Me / December 23, 2013 at 03:44 pm
Funny how all the Left is crying over this when they support the very unions that employ the Hydro workers who so far have NOT volunteered to help out. It's easy to blame the government but I don't see any of you helping either in your oh so dramatic "EMERGENCY!!!!!" All I see so far is complaining because you can't charge your iPhone or stay "in touch" online or order a latte. myself, I have a backup generator and heat works fine. This morning my kids went around to our neighbours and many of them are here. It's tight but at least it's a start. You people are pathetic.
Me replying to a comment from Hi ShirleyDave / December 23, 2013 at 03:46 pm
it's probably be a good idea for all the Hydro workers lounging around at home to volunteer their time and help out. It'd also be nice if some of the others outside and around the GTA did the same but of course it won't happen unless they're forced to and even then they'll probably demand overtime.
OPG replying to a comment from Me / December 23, 2013 at 04:12 pm
What are you getting at? All I see is this tweet from Hydro One. "We have more than 1400 employees working to safely restore power. 300 employees cancelled their vacations to support restoration efforts." Are the Toronto Hydro workers not out there working or something?
Me replying to a comment from OPG / December 23, 2013 at 04:32 pm
According to the comments and whining here it appeared there was nothing being done. I stand corrected and Thank you for doing so. It gives me a little more faith in people than I had earlier.
Alana & Renata / December 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm
Yes you are Rob, but we don't mind. Ever hear of In/Out Burger?
Alex replying to a comment from iSkyhigh / December 24, 2013 at 01:09 pm
Offering useful, pertinent info is always appreciated. Acting like a sourpuss (like you) is not.
Alex II / December 24, 2013 at 05:29 pm
Alex: Sanctimonious much?
bin laden / December 27, 2013 at 01:16 am
Relax Toronto! Whatever happened to all your 72 hrs emergency plans?? Do you think a magic wand is going to restore power everywhere at once?? Prepare! What are you's going to do when the big one comes? Cry?
I guess we will all get a TO ice storm fee line added to all our bills starting next month!LOL
Damien / December 31, 2013 at 07:37 pm
Its ridiculous its taken so long. How dare a company that exploits regular people with the outrageous amounts they charge and make financially allow this to happen. Every single person of high level in that company should be fired and replaced with competent people. I dont care if it costs a billion dollars a day to fix, you greedy fat cat chumps make too much anyways!

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