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High winds topple power lines and trees across the GTA, killing 2

Last Updated May 5, 2018 at 7:35 am EDT

One man is dead and another is critically injured after being struck by a fallen tree in Halton Hills on Friday as powerful winds approaching 100 km/h swept across southern Ontario.

“They were working on tree servicing, and as they were doing that, the wind picked up and a tree fell on the two individuals,” Staff Sgt. Jeff Foster with Halton regional police said.

He said a 28-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene and a 18-year-old man was rushed to a Hamilton hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Foster said the Ministry of Labour is investigating.

Milton Hydro confirmed the young forestry worker who was killed worked for Miller Trees.

A second death has also been linked to the storm this afternoon.

Hamilton police said that just before 7 p.m., a man in his 50s was found unconscious on a road and “in contact with live wires.”

Witnesses said the man had been trying to clear downed power lines from the roadway.

Police said the man was pronounced dead shortly after emergency services arrived on scene.

Heavy winds closed the Burlington Skyway in both directions for several hours, caused delays on both GO Transit and the TTC, and impacted air travel.

GO Transit is also warned riders to expect numerous weather-related delays.

“As a result of the heavy winds across our region, we’re currently experiencing significant GO train and bus delays system wide because of fallen trees, debris on tracks and roadways, defective & damaged railway crossings and power outages,” Go Transit said.

“Please expect to be delayed.”

A fallen tree is blocking several lanes of traffic on the QEW at Bronte Road.

A tree came down in front of a Bulk Barn at Bloor Street West and Windemere Avenue, striking a man in his 50s. He was taken to hospital but there’s no word on his condition.

A tree came frighteningly close to striking a school bus on Sayers Road in Mississauga. Peel police say 72 kids between the ages of seven and 10 were on the bus at the time. There are no reported injuries.

Toronto Hydro says around 21,000 customers were without power as of 7 a.m. Saturday as a result of scattered outages.

Hydro One said more than 180,000 customers were without power, adding that all available crews were responding to outages.

“Our priority right now is to respond to emergencies and start repairing main lines so that we can get the largest numbers of customers restored as quickly and safely as possible,” CEO Greg Kiraly said in an online statement.

In Milton, the winds downed 12 hydro poles, leaving some 10,000 customers without power.

Newmarket was especially hard hit by winds and hail.

Joan Reid was sitting on her deck in Newmarket enjoying a sunny Friday afternoon when the sudden storm hit.

“It felt like a hurricane,” she told CityNews in a phone interview, explaining how sheets of hail and fierce winds drove her indoors and toppled furniture and blue bins in her neighbourhood near Highway 404 and Mulock Drive.

Environment Canada issued both a thunderstorm and a wind warning for Toronto for late Friday afternoon.

Wind brings down a tree on Garden Avenue in Toronto on May 4, 2018. HANDOUT/Patricia Huchez
Wind brings down a tree on Garden Avenue in Toronto on May 4, 2018. HANDOUT/Patricia Huchez