Driving conditions were messy Monday morning as many roads and highways remained partly snow-covered after weekend storms.
The snowy and chilly conditions also took a toll on water mains, with broken pipes in Toronto and Vaughan causing serious damage.
Snow squall warnings were in effect Monday morning around the GTA, including in Owen Sound, Barrie, London, the Niagara Region and most of southwestern Ontario. The temperature in Toronto hit -12C Monday with the wind chill making it feel more like -22C — well below the seasonal average.
Dozens of accidents were reported on the highways Monday and it’s not known if the snowy conditions played a part in a truck rollover on Highway 404 at Bloomington Side Road around 5am. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported.
Another accident has closed Major Mackenzie in both directions east of Jane. The area was off-limits until around noon.
And these chilly conditions are bad news for the GTA’s water mains.
A water line ruptured in Vaughan early Monday causing serious flooding in a home near Centre Street and Dufferin.
“I go downstairs, and I scream when I see the water freezing,” distraught homeowner Connie Ferreira described.
“I can’t save nothing! In half an hour, my basement was full,” she continued.
Ferreira wasn’t the only one.
Three of those basements were completely filled and the flooding devastated at least one resident – a recent widow – who is trying to sell her home.
“All of my things were in the basement, so I lost everything,” Elizabeth Goncalves said, holding back tears. “When I say everything it’s everything, pictures, sofas, tvs, games, kids’ clothes, everything is there.”
Another home had just been sold, and the new owners had recently moved in.
All the residents have been relocated to a nearby hotel and will likely have to stay there for at least a week.
Fire officials have called it a major disaster, noting that in some of the homes, the flood water covered the basement stairs.
Crews worked all day Sunday in -10C conditions to repair the damage to the 15-centimetre pipe.