toronto flooding

Toronto transit station serves Titanic vibes as water floods tunnel and train platforms

Remember that scene in Titanic where Leo is handcuffed to a pole (damn you, Billy Zane!) while water rises around him, filling the ship's lower levels to the point where he and Kate Winslet must literally swim through the hallways to escape?

The situation at Toronto's Long Branch GO Station this morning is nowhere near that dramatic, but gosh dang if it doesn't remind me strongly of 1997's greatest contribution to the world of film (aside from Good Will Hunting, The Game, Liar Liar, The Fifth Element, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, and Romy & Michele's High School Reunion.)

In actual fact, Long Branch is not a ship sinking into the ocean, but a regular GO Transit railway station with some design details reminiscent of crew-level lodgings aboard an early 18th-century steamliner.

It is also currently flooding as a result of heavy rainfall, frozen ground and snow melt.

GO Transit customers began complaining about the situation on Twitter Thursday morning well before rush hour.

"Can you tweet about the flooded tunnel at Long Branch and that passengers are unable to access the platforms?" asked one of the Lakeshore West Train Twitter account around 7:45 a.m. "It seems to have been an issue all morning and nothing has been said."

Another aspiring passenger reported similarly around 8 a.m. that the Long Branch GO station was experiencing "major flooding," forcing people to take their clothes and shoes off to cross the track in three-foot-deep water.

Some passengers seemed annoyed that no formal notices of potential delays had been announced amid what looks like pretty serious flooding at Long Branch.

All the Metrolinx-run train service's social media team could say at first was that they were "looking into this" and apologize for the inconvenience.

Finally, just after 8:30 a.m., officials announced that the Etobicoke transit station had been shut down on account of "weather conditions" (read: too much weather getting inside the station.)

"Lakeshore West GOtrain customers: Long Branch GO station is temporarily closed due to weather conditions," wrote @GoTransitLW. "We will update you when the station reopens."

With the station's only tunnel currently flooded and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority now issuing an official flood advisory for the region, it's hard to say when that might be. 

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