Heavy rain leads to localized flooding in parts of the GTA

Heavy rain that dumped as much as 80 millimetres of rain in some areas has led to flooding in parts of the Greater Toronto Area on Wednesday.

A special weather statement issued by Environment Canada has ended, but the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has issued a flood and shoreline hazard warning for the city that remains in effect until Thursday.

Residents are urged to use extreme caution around all bodies of water, to avoid driving on flooded roadways and under passes and to be alert to transportation delays and road closures.

According to the TRCA, certain areas have received 80 mm of rain in the past six hours.

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No injuries have been reported as a result of the flooding, according to Steve Henderson, deputy commander for Toronto Paramedic Services.

A number of roads were closed in Toronto due to water pooling on roadways but most have since reopened. In some areas, cars were submerged in water.

A crane pulled a car out of flood water on a ramp from Highway 401 to Islington Avenue in the city's west end on Wednesday morning. The water on the ramp is reportedly a metre high.

Toronto Fire reported that it responded to 12 water rescues between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. In some cases, the calls involved several cars stranded in water.

Geoff Coulson, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the western part of the Greater Toronto Area was hit the hardest.

Showers 'a little bit heavier' than anticipated

Areas where flooding has been reported include Etobicoke, Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington, he said. The downpours also hit parts eastward along the Highway 401 corridor. Northern York and Durham regions were largely been spared from the worst of it, he added.

"We have an area of heavy showers and some embedded thunderstorms moving through the GTA this morning," Coulson said on Wednesday.

"Some of these showers have been a little bit heavier than originally anticipated."

As of 11 a.m., Toronto's Pearson International Airport recorded about 62 mm of rain, while parts of downtown Toronto recorded about 60 mm of rain.

The heavy downpours were expected to end by early afternoon.

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Ontario Provincial Police said the Highway 401 eastbound off-ramp to Islington Avenue remains closed due to flooding, but all other roads in the GTA that were closed are now open and all lane restrictions have been lifted.

Earlier, Toronto police closed the southbound Allen Road ramp from Highway 401 and the northbound and southbound lanes of Kipling Avenue near Highway 409, but those roads have since been reopened as well.

Environment Canada had forecast rainfall amounts of between 20 mm and 40 mm, with 50 mm of rain in some areas, by early afternoon. More showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for late afternoon.

Special weather statements issued for Peel, Halton, York and Durham regions, Hamilton and much of Southern Ontario have ended as well.

Brad Ross, chief communications officer for the City of Toronto, said crews cleared catch basins on Tuesday in anticipation of the rain on Wednesday. But he said residents are urged to check and clear catch basins near their homes to prevent possible basement flooding.

There have been no evacuations as a result of the flooding, he added.