Extreme Weather: T.O. Ice Storm Christmas 2013 (Respite)

… Just back from reconnoitring the ‘hood.  This morning at 3am, all I could hear was the scrunching sound of rain turning to ice on tree branches and power lines. Now, at 11 at night, it’s the steady drip of that same ice melting off those same branches and lines. The sidewalks and streets are running with meltwater. Streetcars are once again rolling along Dundas and Queen.

A deep freeze is apparently on the way, down to -14 by Tuesday night, but for now temps are staying north of freezing. Hopefully this meltoff wiff help Hydro crews restore power to the 350,000 people in southern Ontario without power…

Extreme Weather: Ice Storm 2013! (So It Goes…)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The ice storm has ended in Toronto, but the aftermath continues.  Fortunately, the strong winds some were forecasting didn’t materialize. Not so fortunatrly, enough freezing rain fell and turned to ice that the city is close to a state of emergency: the TTC has been disrupted, and streetcars have been stuck in place, literally, all day as their power lines are coated in ice. 250,000 homes are without power, and they’re predicting it’ll take ’til Christmas to get everyone back on the grid. Large branches and whole trees are down around the city, especially in woody areas such as The Annex, as in the picture posted above that I took today on Walmer just north of Bloor. Not pictured: the great tangle of power lines the tree brought down with it.

So, the city is down but not out. Mayor Rob Ford (yes, that Rob Ford) has so far not declared a state of emergency. And Torontonians are tough. But a cold spell’s a’comin, and things could get worse before they get better…

Extreme Weather: Ice Storm! (So It Begins)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here, the first pictures of the ice storm which threatens to knock T.O. out for the Christmas holiday weekend. On Euclid, just south of Dundas…

2:30 a.m. and I wake to the tap of ice against the window. What else to do? I grab my camera and head into the street for a little candid ice storm photography.

Freezing rain. The sound of the ice as it coats and hardens on care, tree branches and – most alarmingly – power lines.

This does not bode well for the morning. Hope I can still make it to Tim Horton’s for a medium double-double and toasted everything bagel with butter…

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Extreme Weather: X-Mas in T.O. 2013: Ice Storm!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/major-ice-storm-headed-for-ontario-1.2472721

Well, it looks like I managed to arrive in T.O. just in time for a major ice storm, which may include major power outages and a virtual shut down of the city.

Last summer I arrived just before a record-breaking heat wave. Hmn… pathetic fallacy notwithstanding, I can’t help but feel a little responsible.

Sorry Toronto!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfcNRWefEEU Memories of the Montreal Ice Storm of 1998. My then-partner and I arrived back in Montreal just in time to be part of one of the city’s worst natural disasters. I remember how surprised we were as we drove into town by truckloads of soldiers on Rue St-Laurent: the first time Canadian soldiers were deployed in Montreal since La crise d’octobre of 1970, when the FLQ kidnapped government officials and the Wartime Measures Act was enacted during peacetime for the first – and only? – time in Canadian history.

We came through that ice storm unscathed, not losing heat or electricity. I remember how eerie it was to walk up St. Laurent at night, seeing only candles flicker in the windows of the apartments for block after block after block.

Hopefully this weekend’s storm will be less dramatic. Apparently the prediction is, this won’t be as severe… http://globalnews.ca/news/1045228/looking-back-at-the-ice-storm-of-1998/