Baby's first ice storm December 22, 2013 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Hey Toronto-area MeFites, looks like we could be in the dark and/or cold for an indeterminate while. Are you doing alright?

Dark now at Dupont and Dundas, sigh.
posted by avocet to MetaFilter-Related at 10:42 AM (41 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

What a mess. Stay safe, Torontonians!
posted by ocherdraco at 11:06 AM on December 22, 2013

Bloor/Bathurst here. We had a few minutes of power out and it came back on, thankfully.
The trees are looking really scary and they say it's going to get all windy this afternoon.
Really, really hoping the power stays on because that winter blackout a few years ago sucked bigtime.
posted by chococat at 11:09 AM on December 22, 2013

I've been fortunate. I'm not far at all from Dupont and Dundas, and I didn't lose power for even a minute so far as I know. Although I am a little concerned about my little apricot tree and the Canadian flag on my porch is frozen stiff.
posted by orange swan at 11:10 AM on December 22, 2013

Doing ok out here in the eastern part of the 905. The power went out for quite a few hours this morning, though, and has been kind of iffy since. Co-workers, friends, and family are pretty much all without power right now.

Arrangements may be made for them to crash at my place tomorrow if things are not back to normal, as it's supposed to get quite cold. Even if things get worse again where I am, I have enough different ways to power the furnace to keep the place warm.
posted by FishBike at 12:04 PM on December 22, 2013

How are you doing hal_c_on?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:28 PM on December 22, 2013

If someone wasn't alright...they probably wouldn't be on metafilter.

Maybe. A lot of people have smartphones now and currently have Internet access through those, even though they have no power or heat. The future is weird like that.
posted by FishBike at 1:44 PM on December 22, 2013 [12 favorites]

During Hurricane Sandy, plenty of the people participating in the check-in thread were not "doing all right." Yet they checked in anyway, and shared news of what was going on in their cities. I was affected, although not as badly as many others, and still tried to participate and check on how people were.

I'm glad this thread is here. Thanks, avocet. Hope everyone in the Toronto area is okay. Stay safe.
posted by zarq at 1:45 PM on December 22, 2013 [9 favorites]

Doing a-okay here in Leslieville. We've had power all day at this end of our block, but judging from the yellow police tape stretched across the street several doors up, maybe there are blackouts elsewhere. The town of Ajax east of here has had areas of no power since early morning, I'm hearing.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 2:02 PM on December 22, 2013

It's a bit crazy, but I remember the Montreal ice storm, and this isn't anything remotely that bad.

Just drove back from down Windsor way (where of course everything's fine), and from around Kitchener on east it's just busted trees everywhere. Just about all the downed stuff was off the roads by the time we got to them, though, so, yay! Here in Durham region everything's coated with a good half inch of ice.

There'll probably some power lines taken down by the weight of the ice itself, but I think it's mostly tree limbs falling on them that's the problem. Once they clear them out it should be fine, I think. Our power was out when we got home, apparently since just this afternoon, but everything seems mostly back to normal now.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:17 PM on December 22, 2013

(That said, there were big sections we drove through where it seemed 90% of all the deciduous trees were snapped right in half, so a lot of other folks are probably not as lucky as we are here.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:24 PM on December 22, 2013

Ok here. Luckily our power is still on, although our front-yard tree is almost completely broken (and blocking the street). A lot of our friends still don't have power though.
posted by cozenedindigo at 3:48 PM on December 22, 2013

We're in mid-Michigan, where power went out last night in the ice storm. They estimate we'll have power back on the 28th. It's going to be an interesting Christmas.
posted by not that girl at 4:19 PM on December 22, 2013

Lost power and water at Islington & Bloor round 1am yesterday. I've got a cousin in North York who lost power as well. Doing okay at the in-laws now but for everyone's sake, I really hope Ford declares a state of emergency and that power can be restored well before the worst case 72 hour/Christmas estimate.
posted by zix at 4:20 PM on December 22, 2013

This is the moment when Rob Ford redeems himself by climbing to the top of the TD bank tower and lighting a darkened city with his red nose, right?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:23 PM on December 22, 2013 [8 favorites]

Here in Kitchener, the public library's website has been down all day. :(
posted by stebulus at 9:05 PM on December 22, 2013

I guess I picked a good week to leave Toronto to visit Florida. I would mostly just like to be able to get in touch with my parents, who are almost assuredly without power and don't use cell phones. They're probably fine; I'm just worried.
posted by ilana at 11:56 PM on December 22, 2013

Power was off for about 24 hours, came back at 0404 this morning in Kennedy Park. It took about three hours to scrape/salt all the glaze ice off the driveway and chip out the car. Some tree branches down, and power cables too.

The tropical fish have stopped giving me the stink-eye now. Their water got down to about 15°C, but I think they all survived.

All the beepy things have stopped beeping now they've charged back up. Have to compliment Toronto Hydro on their excellent use of crisis communications, and Twitter. It almost makes up for their outage map and report line being all chocolate fireguard for the last couple of days.
posted by scruss at 4:07 AM on December 23, 2013

@ Bathurst & Harbord. Everything fine so far
posted by ServSci at 5:24 AM on December 23, 2013

18 hours of chill and dark in Burlington, from ~1:00 AM to ~9:00 PM. Saturday night before bed we had watched the first episode of a disc of Breaking Bad. Yesterday we read and mulled over popping the next disc into the portable player, which was all charged up against this eventuality (the relevant disc being sealed in the powerless DVD player). The power came back on at around 11:00 AM and then disappeared again after about about twelve seconds. When it flickered back on again around three, we both lunged for the DVD player's eject button and got the disc out just before the power vanished again.

In short, we were fortunate enough to have this more an inconvenience than a hardship. My best to all the still-chilly mefites and others out there.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:35 AM on December 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

We're up at Keele and the 401 and miraculously have power. Walk one block north, south, or west and the lights are out. My sister-in-law, her husband, their two kids, and their dog are all crammed into our little three bedroom with us (myself, my wife, and our two kids) since they are still without power. It's a cozy Christmas.
posted by 256 at 7:46 AM on December 23, 2013

It's a cozy Christmas.

I understand Toronto Hydro was saying yesterday it would be some 72 hours for many of the quarter million people still in the dark. Could be a memorable Christmas for many.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:18 AM on December 23, 2013

Best wishes to you all in the ice storm area. As we drove back east from Syracuse on 90 yesterday, we passed literally hundreds of utility vehicles going west, in an hours-long caravan. Hope they help a speedy recovery!
posted by Tandem Affinity at 9:56 AM on December 23, 2013

We're near Yonge and Finch. Sparks from the utility pole woke us up around 2:30am Sunday morning and I saw that a power line had snapped and was on the road. Haven't had power since then but we have a fireplace, gas oven and stove so things aren't too terrible at home. If there isn't any power by tomorrow morning I guess I'll have to pick up some more fire wood. If I had a chainsaw I'd be cutting up all the fallen trees and saving them for later - either as fire wood or for making things.

The aftermath of the storm alternates between looking beautiful and like the end of the world.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:05 AM on December 23, 2013

We didn't lose power or communications at all - south of Danforth - although many stores around us are still without and some of my neighbours had phone and internet go down. Some massive branches came down in my garden but thankfully missed the dogs, fence and shed. Lots of very upset people at Goodlife at Pape today, charging phones and laptops and taking long leisurely showers. This was my first time having to remove ice like that from the sidewalk (immigrant) and it took a loooooooong time and was really tough on the body, damn, but it's gone. Not that most of the neighbourhood have bothered to even throw some salt down. Hope everyone's doing okay and has power or will have it soon.
posted by jamesonandwater at 10:37 AM on December 23, 2013

Jarvis/Queen here. No power loss. The other Mr fffm is up at st clair and mt pleasant, no power since the wee hours of Sunday, probably nothing back until after Christmas.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:16 AM on December 23, 2013

Stay cozy and safe Toronto. Sending warm wishes from the east coast and hoping your power comes back on soon.
posted by futureisunwritten at 1:52 PM on December 23, 2013

Let's see how the Toronto Hydro outage map is working.

Surprisingly OK in the Junction. My house used to lose power whenever it got windy, but it's been a lot better over the past few years and (very luckily) I didn't get more than a few flickers on Saturday and Sunday.

My back porch and yard are scary icy, though. When I cycled out to a friend's place a few blocks away last night (on studded tires, thank you) I had to go out the front door and cut around to the garage because, alas, I do not yet own a pair of these. Main streets are pretty clear, side streets are still a mess.

Stay safe and warm, everyone!
posted by maudlin at 2:18 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I hope you're well out there, Torontonians. Keep us posted.
posted by gauche at 2:20 PM on December 23, 2013

And, I suppose, everybody caught in this ice storm.
posted by gauche at 2:20 PM on December 23, 2013

Power still on at my place, King and Dunn. Anyone nearby welcome to come warm up.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 5:33 PM on December 23, 2013

I just drove all the way down Kingston Road from Pickering to Leslieville. Much of it was in complete darkness which felt really, really weird. Big high rise apartment buildings in blackness. All those many intersections were 4way stops but you couldn't even tell where the intersections were until you were right upon them. Then there'd be two or three blocks with power, then back to black.

Another interesting thing we noticed as people who have not been without power at any point - our local grocery store is running out of so many items (Yukon gold potatoes! Butter!) because people are coming from nearby blacked out neighbourhoods to shop at our stores. And we thought we weren't affected!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:57 PM on December 23, 2013

In Hungry Hollow/Halton Hills it seemed like the whole area (towns, hamlets and farms) were dark since Saturday at 5.30pm. The huge number of neighbours we met on Sunday when it was clear and almost warm, all of us gingerly walking around the damage, in shock from seeing so many 100 year old tree so tattered, reminded me of the first day of spring and everyone emerging from hibernation. I didn't sleep at all on Saturday night, the ice/branches were crack-booming at least one a minute and the transformers were constantly lighting yup the sky green-blue.

My area just came back to life a couple hours ago - all except my street : ( Hydro said on FB that my short road is so bad, so many trees and wires down, that they aren't sure when it will be up, even with the crews working on it non-stop. We left for Burlington when they said that. Funny enough, when we got to my mum's house I walked into a freezing cold house because she turned off the heat when she left to go shopping - even though she knew my three little kids had been shivering in 12 c at home...

I also do the social network stuff for the public library I work for. We closed mid-Saturday when we lost heat, didn't open Sunday at all and delayed opening today while we checked that it was going to warm up enough to open. I posted on FB hours before we were due to open (literally while shivering under a blankie at home from my personal smartphone) that we were planning to open, the steps we were taking, and letting patrons know the ETA of my next update - as well as the locations of local warming stations - when I had a guy totally blast us for being a waste of his tax dollars and that we should be open right that second instead of checking the heat. Yeah, buses and trains aren't running, we closed when we lost heat, thousands are without power, but a bunch of single moms should just suck it up and somehow find daycare/transportation so we can open non-heated buildings outside our regular hours - I guess he really wanted to get his hands on Jane Austen or something.
posted by saucysault at 7:09 PM on December 23, 2013

My in-laws at Yonge/York Mills had their power come on this afternoon, as they were just about to give up and go to my brother-in-laws.
My parents at Bayview/Eglinton just had theirs come on about an hour ago.
Christmas is a go!
We are so, so lucky because EVERY TIME there's been any kind of hydro incident we have our power out.
posted by chococat at 8:34 PM on December 23, 2013

Please keep in mind that this ice isn't going anywhere for a while, and more branches will come down. If you have power, you should be using your time to prepare for future outages. I was the better part of a month without power in 98 and while this storm was not that bad, the consequences are far from over. I hate to think what the Don Valley looks like.
posted by angerbot at 4:09 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

i am coming in in about an hour, on VIA. Anyone have any news.
posted by PinkMoose at 7:09 AM on December 24, 2013

Pinkmoose, it is clear and cold out. Just allow extra time for where ever you plan to be, traffic is kinda crappy and the TTC is clearly trying to keep up despite the obstructions. Be flexible about moving locations if the power goes out again, maybe hit up the LCBO to warm up every bodies insides at least. The situation really is neghbourhood by neghbourhood., or street by street really. Good luck and have a happy Xmas.
posted by saucysault at 8:05 AM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's definitely pretty and sunny out -- main streets everywhere are melted clear of ice, but sidewalks are hit and miss. The north wind is pretty sharp on the face if you're moving at any speed, but walking about is fine with the proper layers.

The TTC seems to be moving well enough here in the Junction, and according to the TTC service alerts, all lines are running, including Sheppard and the Scarborough SRT.

It really is neighbourhood by neighbourhood. Good luck wherever you fetch up!
posted by maudlin at 8:32 AM on December 24, 2013

Based on reports from my relatives in Toronto, I just want to emphasize the "neighborhood to neighborhood" thing. My sister-in-law and brother (near High Park) lost power for at least a full day, her sister has had power the whole time, the rest of the family is in a state such that they've decided to move Christmas dinner, and my brother's mother-in-law has apparently moved in for the duration. I'm not sure anyone I know in Toronto, other than said sister-in-law's sister, will have spent three consecutive nights in the same bedroom. Luckily they're all short train rides from one another. Just watch everyone have power up tomorrow morning.
posted by SMPA at 1:45 PM on December 24, 2013

Good news, everyone! Now there's snow on top of the ice.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:29 AM on December 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Well we got our power back last night (the crews around here have literally been working around the clock since Saturday. In my neck of the woods we went from 100% of the community without power on Saturday to 15% without power on Thursday. A huge achievement considering the trees and wires are still covered in ice and still falling. Really though, I left my mum's because she ran out of chocolate and I knew I still had two tins of quality street at home....
posted by saucysault at 7:17 PM on December 27, 2013

I'm just returning to Toronto now - I was actually flying out when the storm was happening. My flight got so delayed* by the weather that I missed getting on the cruise I was meeting my family on, which totally sucked! I had to spend the night in Ft Lauderdale, then get a flight to Nassau to catch the boat at their first port of call. It was a total pain in the butt, but it was worth it to see the look on my mom's face when I arrived, because she was sure I would be missing the family christmas.

* delay included: re-scheduling the flight; the airline bringing the wrong plane to the gate; the plane getting parked in by another plane; the other plane being unable to move out of the way because the gangway malfunctioned and couldn't be detached from the plane; waiting in line for an hour for de-icing; 45 minutes of de-icing. At every one of these stages, they made an announcement that there was a slight delay, but we'd be underway in 10 minutes. we were over 5 hours late! they were lying!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:50 AM on December 29, 2013

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