Risk of flooding in Toronto as rising temperatures will trigger a major thaw

Feb 1 2019, 8:44 pm

The days when you can’t feel your face outside will soon be behind us, as warmer weather is on the horizon for Toronto.

According to the Weather Network’s Dr. Doug Gillham, looking ahead to next week (February 3-10), the frigid pattern will temporarily break down from the Great Lakes to Atlantic Canada.

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“This will bring a thaw (above freezing temperatures and rain) to southern and even northeastern Ontario, southern Quebec and much of Atlantic Canada during the first half of the week. This warming trend also raises the threat for flooding, especially in southern Ontario,” said Gillham.

While it feels like -15°C in Toronto right now, temperatures are expected to rise to 7°C by Monday.

The Weather Network

But the reversal of temperatures is only temporary.

“As we head towards the middle of February, Arctic air will start to spread back into the Great Lakes region and Southern Quebec,” said Gillham.

The pattern map below is for the middle and end of February, which the Weather Network says is expected to persist for the first two weeks of March.

The Weather Network

With the thaw out, there is a risk of flooding on the streets and in homes.

The most important thing is to not delay reporting it.

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.

This is what Toronto streets looked like during the city’s last major flooding in August 2018:

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