Severe flooding shuts down Toronto’s Don Valley Parkway


Commuters already anticipating a rough time on their way into Toronto this morning were in for a nightmare, as city officials were forced to close down the south end of the Don Valley Parkway due to flooding.

Several bands of storms swept through southern Ontario last night, bringing heavy downpours that caused the Don River to overflow its banks overnight. The water spilled over, flooding the lowest sections of the DVP, between Bloor St. E. and the Gardner Expressway.

[ Related: Canadians advised to prepare for tornadoes despite lower risk ]

Images of the flood, which some called the worst flooding they've ever seen on the DVP, popped up on Twitter, showing the highway turned into canals of water.

As the Sun rose, the pictures began to show the full extent of the flooding, and how only a few man-made landmarks revealed where the river ended and the highway began...

Some joggers, such as Avery Haines, from CityNews in Toronto, also had to alter their route this morning as their usual paths were turned into rivers of their own...

The waters have already begun to recede, however it will be some time before the road opens, as the swollen river dumped "a muddy mess" on the highway, as CBC News reporter Trevor Dunn wrote on his twitter account. Cleanup crews are on site, however the closure is still expected to last several more hours.

More storms are in the forecast for southern Ontario today and tonight. Environment Canada has issued a Special Weather Statement stating that there is a "slight risk that some of these storms may be severe, especially near the Lower Great Lakes and St Lawrence Valley, with torrential downpours, damaging winds and hail as the main threats."

[ More Geekquinox: Plants revived after 400-yr deep freeze may go to Mars ]

The lower end of the Don River is prone to flooding, and it used to do so every spring before The Don Improvement Project was started in the late 1800s, and it did so again, quite famously, when Hurricane Hazel swept over the city in 1954. Increased development of the area stripped away more of the natural environment around the river, which allowed more water runoff into the river, and this has increased the risk of flooding over the years. August 19th, 2005 saw some exceptionally bad flooding, as images captured by George Kourounis show.

Geek out with the latest in science and weather.
Follow @ygeekquinox on Twitter!