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Flood watch in effect for Toronto, GO Transit diverting

Last Updated Jun 23, 2017 at 10:52 am EDT

The Bayview Extension between King and River streets is flooded on June 23, 2017. CITYNEWS

A flood watch is in effect for Toronto, and GO Transit trains are diverting because of high water levels.

Toronto and Region Conservation (TRC) said Friday that areas of the Greater Toronto Area have already received 20-40 millimetres of rain by 6:30 a.m.

“Environment Canada advises that another system is approaching the GTA from the northwest that could bring another 20-25mm of rainfall with the possibility of thunderstorms to occur starting around 7 a.m. or 8 a.m.,” the TRC said.

Bayview Avenue between King and River streets was flooded early Friday morning, which was not a surprise for Mayor John Tory.

“Bayview … has always been a problem even with a modest amount of rainfall,” Tory said at City Hall.

“Obviously, our officials do their very best to keep up with that. Long-term fixes to that are actually quite challenging given the way things were built, sometimes decades ago. Authorities are keeping a close eye on everything, including the island. While the water levels have begun slowly to recede exactly as predicted, a bad storm with the wind coming the wrong direction can be threatening.

“I just hope it stops raining.”

The Richmond Hill track was closed on Friday morning, GO Transit said, and the afternoon commute may also be affected.

“Flash flooding from last night’s rain has caused partial flooding on your line which has resulted in an area of track being closed. As a result, service on your line will be impacted,” GO said in a statement.

Passengers at the Old Cummer and Oriole GO stations may use their GO tickets or Presto Card on the TTC at a staffed entrance at the Finch, Sheppard or Leslie subway stations, GO said.

The diversions will add 30 to 45 minutes to the morning commute.

If there is more rain throughout the day on Friday, afternoon rush-hour trains on the Richmond Hill Line will likely be diverted again, GO Transit said. The decision will be made between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.