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The Flood of 2013: Photos from an Overnight GO Train Rescue

About 1,400 passengers were removed, a handful at a time, from a stranded GO train stuck in the Don Valley last night.

“You have to do certain safety protocol checks before you can keep moving… By the time that was completed…the train was stranded.”

With those words to CBC’s Metro Morning, Greg Percy, vice president of capital infrastructure at GO Transit, tried to explain how 1,400 passengers got stuck for hours on a train last night. They were riding on the Richmond Hill line, and were trapped by flash flooding in the Don Valley near Pottery Road. Rescue crews from the Toronto Police Marine Unit worked throughout the evening to stabilize the situation and then shuttle passengers off the train with small rescue boats, a handful at a time. Passengers who boarded the train just after work at 5 p.m. reported that they arrived home at 2 a.m.

The rest of Toronto continues to dry out from Monday’s record-breaking storm: 126mm of rain fell, more than the city saw during 1954′s Hurricane Hazel. TTC subway service is largely restored, though there is no service on the Bloor-Danforth line from Jane to Kipling; shuttle buses are running there. Toronto Hydro reports that about 35,000 customers are still without power. Roads are largely reopened, but the following closures are still in effect: the Bayview Extension, Rosedale Valley Road from Bayview to Park Road, and the underpass at King and Atlantic streets.

The City of Toronto advises residents to call 311 if your drains or sewers are blocked, but be warned of long waits. They also recommend calling your insurance company immediately if you have any property damage.

If you’re wondering how the city’s leadership responded to last night’s storm, a sampling from chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat, councillor Doug Ford, and mayor Rob Ford:

Photos of the GO train rescue by Christopher Drost; last three photos of the DVP by Rémi Carreiro.

CORRECTION: July 10, 2013, 2:00 PM This post originally wrote that the GO train had 1,400 hundred passengers. It was been corrected to 1,400 passengers.


  • OgtheDim

    Funny that about Rob. 8:24 was the time Rob was talking to CBC. Didn’t mention his kids.

  • jaaaaaaaaat

    Rob ford’s Ferris wheel and Monorail and absorb water and prevent floods. Best plan ever!

    • dsmithhfx

      Subways make great storm drains!

  • dsmithhfx

    “They also recommend calling your insurance company immediately if you have any property damage.”

    A lot of insurance companies are unilaterally canceling coverage for water damage, just in case, you know, climate change turns out not to be a myth.

  • Joe Clark

    How many passengers were stranded? 1,400 or 140,000?

  • rickhd

    Row Row your boat gently down the street. Paging the Mayor of Calgary… Toronto needs you.

  • Scott Snider

    “1,400 hundred passengers” Those trains hold a lot of people!
    Kidding aside, awesome pictures.