Toronto Hydro

April's Unseasonal Extreme Weather Event

On April 14, 15 and 16, the City of Toronto experienced an extreme weather event with strong winds, ice pellets, snow, freezing rain and flooding rain.
Due to the time of year, there were fewer snow clearing resources available than at the height of the winter season. As a result, I received many phone calls and emails from Ward 25ers who expressed their frustration and concerns with the City's response to the unseasonal ice storm.
For this reason, I reached out to the General Manager of Transportation Services to share these concerns. As they are responsible for managing and implementing the clean-up efforts following storms and other weather events, I urgently requested that Transportation Services employ all resources necessary to ensure our local roads and sidewalks were cleared and safe for residents as soon as possible.
Additionally, at the April City Council meeting following the ice storm, I moved a motion requesting Transportation Services to report on the response to April 2018's extreme winter weather emergency, lessons learned and recommendations to improve the City's response to extreme weather events in the future. As the City does after every major event, staff will be reviewing the response to the storm and determining how we can improve our services.
Although Transportation Services staff were able to retroactively mobilize several clearing machines, the City must be better prepared to respond to all weather events in the future.
On a positive note, I must commend Toronto Hydro crews on their response to the ice storm as they worked quickly to restore power to more than 44,000 customers. Forestry crews also dealt with more than 500 tree-related calls and the TTC worked hard to keep service running despite weather complications and weather-related power outages.
With this unseasonal weather behind us, I hope that we are now looking forward to a warm and productive summer!

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