Record rainfalls, flooding and power outages shocked the GTA last night (obviously) overwhelming the city’s infrastructure. Over 90mm of rain fell, smashing previous one-day records for July, with some reports saying the city got as much as 123mm of rain, surpassing the all-time one-day total set in 1954 during Hurricane Hazel. While some affected services begin to return to normal function, according to a City of Toronto press release, as many as 35,000 households are still without electricity and some roads, subway stations and GO Train routes remain closed. Bottom line: if you don’t HAVE to go to work today, don’t.
As residents assess the damage this morning, much of the devastation was captured on social media last night. BlogTO has a good round-up of the craziest images here. While the rescue of hundreds of stranded Richmond Hill-bound GO Train passengers may have been the most dramatic event to unfold, the $300,000 Ferrari abandoned in flood water provided the most schadenfreude.
Where was our beloved Mayor during all this? Chillin’ in his Cadillac Escalade with the A/C on, apparently. Toronto Sun reporter Don Peat tweeted that Ford lost power like the rest of us and was killing time “in the SUV with his kids trying to stay cool.” Ford was also getting flak on Twitter after tweeting around 8:30 that the city got “30 – 40 cm” of rain and that “the worst [was] over.” He was also promoting pics of Ford Fest during the storm. Meanwhile, brother Doug Ford was out directing traffic at Dixon and Islington.
Clean up and and an investigation into what caused a train carrying 72 cars of crude oil to explode, killing at least 13 people in the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic, continues today. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has 14 investigators probing the site of the disaster though the circumstances leading up to the explosion are still a mystery. [Toronto Star]
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is facing criticism from Conservatives and Liberals after suggesting government budget cuts bear responsibility for the Lac-Mégantic disaster. Former Liberal Leader Bob Rae called Mulcair’s comments “a new low.” [National Post]
Despite charging for basic necessities and cramming customers in at ever-growing rates, Air Canada is actually ranked No. 2 at something. According to FlightStats, the Canadian airline is now sitting in second place among major North American carriers when it comes to getting you to your gate on time. Hurray for the bare minimum! [The Globe and Mail]
Egypt’s interim government has laid out a blistering pace at which it plans to overhaul its suspended Constitution, elect a new parliament and select a new president. The six month timetable seems to be an effort to assuage fears over military rule in the wake of a mass shooting of Islamist protestors Monday. [New York Times]
US President Barack Obama is considering pulling all troops out of Afghanistan much faster than previously planned. Reports say Obama’s relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai are slowly unraveling. [New York Times]