Storm: Roadways and runways

Photo courtesy of Twitter.com

Heavy rains and flood waters brought yesterday’s commute to a grinding halt.

Whether on transit or private vehicles, or coming and going from Pearson Airport, no one in Mississauga got anywhere fast.

MiWay Transit confirmed their service experienced long delays last night during and following the storm.  Service from Islington Station detoured from flooded streets and a widespread loss of power across the city that left traffic lights out of service.

“By the time they got off the [TTC] bus shuttle, they would have had some pretty long delays,” the city’s transit director Geoff Marinoff told YourMississaugaBiz.com.

“Then we had to bring them home on streets without traffic lights.”

The Islington route, which runs from Islington Station in Toronto to Square One serves an estimated 20,000 people daily, and normally takes 40 minutes to travel. Marinoff estimated last night’s delays extended the 15 km trip by more than half an hour.

About 30-40 staff were asked to stay late and additional 10-20 MiWay staff were brought in to supervise routes, as well as fuel and drive buses.

MiWay confirmed several buses flooded while travelling on water-logged 400 series highways, but said all of the affected buses made it back to the MiWay Transportation hub near Square One Shopping Centre with no serious damage.

While lots of MiWay trips took much longer than usual, Marinoff stressed that there were no injuries suffered by passengers or employees, and no accidents. “Although they might have been wet, everyone got home safe,” he said.

Pearson International Airport also brought in extra staff to deal with flood-related damages and delays.

Spokesperson Scott Armstrong said there were approximately 250 flights cancelled yesterday.

More than 120 mm of rainfall at the airport caused flooding on some parts of the airfield and around support buildings.

Some of Pearson’s IT systems suffered water damage, requiring repairs and overnight replacement, and caused the GTAA website to temporarily go off line.

“Everyone is working hard to return operations to normal as quickly as possible, but safety, as always is the first priority,” Armstrong told YourMississaugaBiz.com.

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