Earlier this week, the Greater Toronto Area was hit was a slow-moving storm system that caused widespread flash flooding and power outages in several areas of the city.
Flooding was severe in some areas as rain quickly overwhelmed drainage systems and flooded roads, underpasses, buildings, condos and homes, which left many homeowners’ basements filled with water.
— Tony Smyth (@LateNightCam) August 8, 2018
Downpours can quickly flood your basement and create a real mess. And while you wade through soggy boxes and furniture and floating household items, you might feel unsure of what to do.
The most important thing is to not delay. The City of Toronto says you need to contact Toronto Hydro immediately to have your power shut off to prevent shock or electrocution in the event that water has risen above outlets and near the electrical panel.
If you believe the flooding could be the result of a sewer back-up, the city advises to not use toilets and sinks unless it is absolutely necessary until the issue has been resolved. Any water sent down the drain may, unfortunately, end up in your basement.
Contact the City by calling 3-1-1 or visiting the service’s website to enter a self-service request. City staff will inspect the problem, assess the flooding and attempt to determine the source of the flooding.
Is there property damage?
If you find that your property has been damaged as a result of the flooding, the city recommends contacting your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the damage.
Make sure to take photos of the flooding damage and keep all receipts from emergency repair or clean-up work.
If the flooding is a result of a blocked drain pipe, leaking foundation walls or poor lot drainage on your property, then you are responsible for repairs and any subsequent damage caused by flooding.
You may also submit a claim to the city, and your claim will be forwarded to Toronto’s insurance adjusters for evaluation. A letter of acknowledgment will be sent to you.
Health and safety considerations
The city also advises that homeowners may be exposed to waterborne diseases, corrosive cleaning agents and irritants found in leftover sludge, so be mindful when entering a flooded basement.
Electrical accidents may occur because of contact with water and electricity, so make sure to shut off electrical power if possible.