Major Toronto street completely flooded as storm pummels city with rain
A heavy system of rain is inundating Toronto this week, and it's looking particularly bad on one stretch of College Street, where roads and sidewalks have flooded to almost impassable levels.
Since Wednesday morning, photos and videos have been shared on social media showing a stretch of College at Dovercourt flooded at least to ankle depth, and commentary suggesting that a lack of City funding is to blame.
The plot thickens? College Street is flooded and likely our office basement. We're told on account of the @cityoftoronto not paying to clean leaves out of our gutters in the fall...@college_bia @BravoDavenport pic.twitter.com/VQt5fivHJJ— The Biking Lawyer (Dave Shellnutt) (@TheBikingLawyer) April 5, 2023
Personal injury lawyer David Shellnutt has been sharing the clips and stills with his thousands of followers, explaining that a city worker informed him that the pooling is the result of crews failing to clean out drains during the fall, citing a lack of funds.
Was talking to a city worker who said this flooding is happening because they ran out of money to clean up leaves from the storm drains in the fall. I'd love to know the cost to the City and regular folks of the result. No money to clean up leaves...yeesh. pic.twitter.com/C5GWjslEau— The Biking Lawyer (Dave Shellnutt) (@TheBikingLawyer) April 5, 2023
A member of Shellnutt's team eventually grabbed a snow shovel and attempted to deal with the clogged storm drain themselves.
Hey @Gruesomebrat @Smiffster73 the Biking Lawyer team took a page out of your playbook and started cleaning the gutters ourselves. pic.twitter.com/B1NEi3JSSZ— The Biking Lawyer (Dave Shellnutt) (@TheBikingLawyer) April 5, 2023
Shellnutt tells blogTO that he also saw a flooded intersection at Shaw and Dundas being cleared by a lone city worker today, who told him that these clogs happen "because funding wasn't provided to clean up the leaves in the fall now we're facing some serious and likely far more costly issues."
"That's scary coming from someone on the inside," remarked Shellnutt.
"Throughout the day, the front of our office on College kept flooding to the point that our staff member and neighbour (whose basement started flooding) pulled out winter shovels to clean the sewer grates of leaves," says Shellnutt, adding that the blockage comes "one month after citizens had to clear snow and ice from TTC stops."
"We're seeing here the repercussions of an austerity mayor who's no longer accountable to us," says Shellnutt, in a clear swipe at recently-departed mayor John Tory.
"However, many of his supporting councillors are running for mayor now. Our hope is that Torontonians aren't fooled into thinking the ones that had a hand in creating these issues can solve them. They want to put WiFi into train tunnels and solve safety concerns on the TTC? They can't even prevent flooded homes, streets and businesses after a single rainstorm."
Toronto can only expect to see more rain in the meanwhile, and Environment Canada warned of potential flooding in a rainfall warning issued for the city at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The government weather and climate agency cautions of rainfall of up to 50 mm continuing through Wednesday evening, with the possibility of localized rainfall exceeding 60 mm in areas seeing multiple thunderstorms in that span.
The possibility for flash foods and localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible, or even on busy streets like what was seen at College and Dovercourt.
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