Sunday, December 22, 2013

Toronto Ice Storm Leaves Thousands Without Power #DarkTO


This morning, at approximately 2:30 am, I awoke to the sound of my radio alarm clock powering off. It is almost an instinctual reaction since I use it to charge my iPhone and heaven forbid it wasn't fully charged. So, of course, I had to check my Twitter feed to find out the latest on #IceStorm2013 here in Toronto. I noticed this tweet from Anthony Sagliani, Science Writer and Meteorologist for @accuweather:


I listened to the freezing rain as it continued to beat upon our rooftop. I watched as flashes of light lit up the night sky. And I stared at the battery power indicator on my iPhone as it slowly dwindled. By morning, the temperature in our house dropped to 19 degrees Celsius and was dropping quickly. We don't have a fireplace or any gas-powered appliances. We thought about bunkering down with my mother-in-law who has a gas fireplace but instead booked a room at the Sheraton downtown. Just before leaving, a branch on our recently trimmed tree fell due to the weight of the ice, grazing the back of our minivan.



Our tree wasn't the only one to fall victim to the ice storm. It seemed every other home in our neighbourhood had tree damage, some worse than others. Before leaving, I checked in on my elderly neighbour who lives alone to make sure she had heat, food and supplies. According to my husband, we had lost power as early as 9:30 pm last night. These are the times I wish we had a wood-burning fireplace.


On our way downtown, we noticed several areas were still without power. Traffic lights were out and most people were following the rules of a four-way stop at most intersections, except for one driver the whizzed right past us completely oblivious to the oncoming traffic. We passed through Leaside at around 10:30 am and the area seemed to have power. Taking Bayview Avenue southbound, the sidewalks were covered with tree branches and the right lanes were mostly covered as well. It was quite the contrast compared to the downtown core which seemed much milder.


Southbound Bayview Avenue
According to the latest from Toronto Hydro, we could expect our power to be out for up to 72 hours. My parents, who live in Hamilton, just had their power restored but that lasted for five minutes and returned a short while ago. With winds expected to pick up, Toronto Hydro expects more downed wires and power outages.


Hope everyone stays safe and warm, including Toronto Hydro workers who are doing their best to restore power during what Toronto Hydro CEO calls the worst ice storm ever.


Update (December 22 at 10:20 pm):

The map above is a screenshot from the Toronto Hydro Power Outages Map which shows areas affected at around 9:50pm. The areas in blue indicate that there are between 1,000 to 5,000 customers affected and more than 5,001 customers living in the purple areas.


Update (December 23 at 4:20 am):

It would appear that the Toronto Hydro Power Outages Map is currently down but @TorontoHydro shared a snapshot of the latest update which I presume was shortly after 3am. Many of the white areas in the previous map have been filled in which shows that pretty much every area has been affected. My husband cannot sleep so he is driving home to check on the current situation. Fingers crossed!

21 comments:

  1. We were lucky in that we haven't lost our hydro.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear. Power is still out and I hear more people are losing power in London, Ancaster, Hamilton, Woodbridge... Glad we checked into a hotel.

      Delete
  2. We lost our power here for 17 1/2 hours today, 8 hours yesterday. I still can't help but see such beauty in all of this...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is pretty but I have seen so many fallen trees and resulting damage. I still can't believe it.

      Delete
  3. I just hope that everyone is safe and there isn't too much damage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too. Yet I keep hearing that branches are still coming down. My mother-in-law's elderly neighbour across the street had an old tree come crashing down on top of his house. Also just read that another transformer blew near Don Mills and Lawrence.

      Delete
  4. Ive been watching the news and boy is this a scary storm! I am glad to hear you and your family are safe! HOPEFULLY everything is back to normal soon! Take care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was pretty scary because we really weren't prepared for it. A few people are still without power. Pretty crazy!

      Delete
  5. I hope you and your family manage to stay warm and safe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily my mother-in-law's place had power restored before ours so we could hang out there. The same cannot be said for those without friends or family in the area.

      Delete
  6. I hope everyone gets power back soon.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/2013/12/wordless-wednesday-shower.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joyce. Only three days without power for us but it was much longer for some.

      Delete
  7. I seen the news last night. Soo many without power still. 85,000 in Toronto alone :(.. my heart goes out to them all... we still have some without power here as well. I feel very lucky to have had only gone 17 1/2 hours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It still puts a damper on the holidays, I'm sure. I had so many things I had planned to do and was so unprepared for Christmas. In the end, it all worked out, though.

      Delete
  8. I just made it out of Toronto Saturday by plane, I am very lucky. I hope your power was restored within fairly short order.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! You just made it, then. Glad you didn't get affected by the delays.

      Delete
  9. Oh wow, that is so intense! I live on the West Coast so we have never experienced anything like this! Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? Maybe it's time I look into moving out west. :)

      Delete
  10. Our power was out for 3 days...I'll never take it for granted again!
    http://www.CountryUrbanLife.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I managed to miss the storm (flew out the Sat). I am flying back tomorrow, and I hear it is storming again?? Erg.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment here on Toronto Teacher Mom. Hope you have a great day!