Commuters can breathe a sigh of relief as the Don Valley Parkway has reopened after an overnight closure due to flooding.
The DVP had been closed both northbound and southbound between Bayview/Bloor and the Gardiner Expressway for much of the night. The northbound lanes reopened around 5 a.m. and the southbound lanes reopened shortly before 6:30 a.m.
The closure came after a few days of mild temperatures led to a “substantial thaw” of the more than 26 cm of snow that fell on the city during a major winter storm one week ago, according to Mark Mills, superintendent of road operations for the City of Toronto.
The water flowed into the Don River and when it got to the Keating Channel, where the river meets the lake, it caused an “ice jam” that sent water spilling onto the DVP, Mills told CBC Toronto Tuesday morning.
The big melt prompted the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to issue a flood watch on Monday night, advising that water levels could continue to rise if temperatures remain above freezing. Early Tuesday morning, that flood watch was upgraded to a flood warning, with residents prompted to “exercise extreme caution around all bodies of water.”
Drivers were warned to stay away from all low-lying areas and underpasses.
At 5 a.m. Tuesday, the temperature in the city was 6 C. The temperature is expected to plummet through the morning and fall to -3 C this afternoon. The overnight low will be -7 C, and feel more like -12 with the wind.
Freezing rain on the way
The drop in temperature is also going to bring some wild weather to the city on Wednesday. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, advising that freezing is expected to develop on Wednesday afternoon.
Precipitation is expected to begin in the morning as ice pellets, the federal weather agency said early Tuesday, and that will mix with freezing rain near midday.
“Freezing rain could persist for several hours Wednesday afternoon before ending in the evening or overnight,” the weather statement said.
The weather will likely impact the evening commute “due to the potential for untreated surfaces to become icy.”