The Ice Storm That Stole Toronto's Christmas
The damage left behind from the huge ice storm that swept through parts of the Midwest U.S. and Canada has left many without power for Christmas. In Toronto, over 100,000 homes and businesses in the region are without heat or electricity as of this morning.
Mayor Rob Ford says that getting everyone's power back by Christmas Day won't be possible. Toronto Hydro's CEO has warned that more snow and wind expected in the coming days will only cause more trees and utility poles to fall.
The outages, combined with extremely cold temperatures (it's 11 degrees Fahrenheit in Toronto today) is causing some residents to come up with dangerous solutions. The Toronto Star reports that carbon monoxide poisoning calls in the city jumped from an average 20 calls a day to 110 since the storm. Two people died yesterday after running a generator in their home one hour east in Newcastle, Ontario.
Ford, whose home is without power, has said he won't declare a state of emergency despite pleas from multiple councillors. The CBC is reporting that the mayor's decision would leave Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly in charge of the crisis, leading to speculation that Ford's decision is politically charged. However, councillor and chair of Toronto's public works committee, Denzil Minnan-Wong, tells CBC, "I don’t think declaring a state of emergency is going to make the electricity go on any quicker, or our furnaces turn on any faster."
An inflatable Santa Claus decoration, deflated due to a power outage, is pictured behind a fallen tree limb after an ice storm hit Toronto, December 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)
A sign advertises emergency candles for sale after 250,000 residents were still left without electricity from a weekend ice storm in Toronto December 23, 2013. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)
Ice encrusted pine cones are seen in Earl Bales Park following an ice storm in Toronto December 23, 2013. (REUTERS/Gary Hershorn)
Icicles hang from a signal light and a street sign after freezing rain in Toronto, Ontario December 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang)
A bicycle is covered with ice after freezing rain in Toronto, Ontario December 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang)
A white towel is placed over a downed powerline to alert passing vehicles after freezing rain in Toronto, Ontario December 22, 2013.(REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang)
A layer of ice coats the leaf of a Japanese maple tree after an ice storm in Toronto December 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)
A man walks down the street behind traffic lights with no power following an ice storm in Toronto, December 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)