Sandy: What Torontonians need to know
Toronto's mayor and city staff held a press conference Monday afternoon to give an update on how the city is prepared for the remnants of hurricane Sandy.
Mayor Rob Ford says the city is ready.
He says extra staff have been called in to work at the 311 call centre tonight to handle an expended higher volumen of calls. He says you should call 311 to report any downed trees, flooding or other city-related problems.
Miles Currie with the transportation department says road crews that usually work on potholes have been redirected and are keeping an eye out for ponding and flooding on city roads.
Garbage pickup is still scheduled at the regular time of 7 a.m. on Tuesday. But Currie recommends that you put out your bins as close to 7 a.m. as possible, as opposed to the night before.
Mayor Ford says the biggest fear is widespread power outages.
Blair Peberdy with Toronto Hydro says they have 80 crews ready to deal with any outages, when they normally have 15 crews.
See below for more information from the City of Toronto.
Here is more information the City of Toronto has released:
Residents should be "emergency ready", which means having a plan so you and your family know what to do in an emergency. In the event of an emergency, you may need to look after your personal needs and those of your family for up to 72 hours. Emergency services workers may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may have to focus their initial efforts elsewhere. For more information and advice about emergency preparedness, see http://www.toronto.ca/oem/
Report power outages to Toronto Hydro, 24/7 at 416-542-8000.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority issued a flood statement on Saturday because of the potential for higher flows and water levels in rivers and streams, creating dangerous conditions. Please see http://trca.on.ca/ for information.
Roads and catch basins
City crews will be monitoring road conditions for excessive ponding and flooding, particularly in low-lying areas such as the Beach south of Queen Street, Hogg’s Hollow and the Bayview Extension. An area of concern is catch basins blocked by falling leaves. Residents can assist by clearing catch basins adjacent to and on their properties (including the grates at the bottom of reverse-slope driveways), to reduce the possibility of flooding. Motorists are asked to drive with care and slowly through areas of ponding, especially near sidewalks where pedestrians are present.
Toronto’s sewers are equipped to manage most typical storms. However, Toronto is experiencing more severe weather events, with higher rainfall levels than historically recorded, increasing pressure on the sewer system. When extreme weather occurs the system can become overloaded, leading to surface and basement flooding.
In the short term, it is important to keep water away from your walls and foundation. Ensuring eavestroughs and downspouts are clear of leaves and other debris will help this.
If you do experience basement flooding, call 311 immediately to report it and call your insurance provider. Be mindful of health and safety when cleaning up a flooded basement as you may be exposed to sewage or come in contact with water and electricity. Consider getting help with flooding clean-up through a “water damage restoration" company. See http://www.toronto.ca/water/stormwater for more tips.
Residents are reminded to not stand under trees and to be especially vigilant to avoid falling and flying objects and materials. If a tree on City property becomes damaged or falls, report it to 311. The City’s Urban Forestry section has over 120 people trained and prepared to respond to emergencies such as Hurricane Sandy.
In an actual emergency call 911.
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