As Toronto struggles with the aftermath of the Great Toronto Storm and resulting floods this evening I am still thanking my stars that:
1) I left work at the time I did, earlier today as I wanted to walk home and workout at the gym in our building, 2) Seeing the ominous-looking sky when halfway down Bay decided to get the bus after all and 3), had just finished my workout when the lights went out and was still able to get inside safely.
Because I hopped on the bus instead of walking I got in just before the rain started falling… and boy did it fall. “What’sApping” Harry I learned that the lights had gone out at Bar Hop on King West where he was hanging out before heading home, but that he would stay until the now incredibly heavy rain stopped falling.
By now it was very dark though it was just after 6pm and the electricity went off in our building, leaving the emergency lighting. At least the lifts were working. And at least I wasn’t stuck in one… or in a subway underground with no power. All in all I was fortunate. I wasn’t stuck on a flooded train, or waiting for a bus or being drenched by the unrelenting rain, nor wading through the flood waters. I was indoors and dry wondering if the rain could get any harder (it could and it did) before it started moving on to rain elsewhere.
Once the electricity came back on the TV news revealed the chaos downtown and further afield. DVP flooded, Lakeshore Boulevard flooded, many roads and streets flooded… and cars either submerged or floating in the flood waters. As it happened at the height of rush hour I knew that thousands of commuters were going to be caught in this. Normally I would have been too, even though I could walk home. It would have been more like wading, there was no walk, almost everywhere is flooded (except, oddly enough, down by the lake). Toronto looked this evening like a Third World city in the rainy season. Our power was only out for about 40 minutes and once the rain lessened it even became light again (well, it is July although it’s hard to believe).
Meanwhile the TTC is struggling to cope (or rather not coping at all) and people are stranded waiting for buses (the trains are going nowhere because of the power outages coupled with the flooding).
It has all the makings of a film script and some astonishing photography. There’s more rain to come tomorrow. Not a particularly cheering thought.
This Storify slideshow of the Toronto floods being shared really says it all so I thought I’d share it here. Most of the photos are shared from Twitter and they make compelling viewing. As with the Great Toronto Snowstorm, I think everyone will remember “where they were” when Toronto got flooded.