Dan and I are wintering in warm Florida. We are thankful to have avoided the horrific weather conditions in Toronto, however we are concerned about family and friends back in our home town.The ice storm struck Saturday night, leaving about three hundred ,and fifty thousand residences without power, heat, or water. It is very hard to communicate and make contact with many because besides the power outages those who use Rogers cable as their provider for telephone, internet and television were left without these services, totally isolating many.
I received a text message from my son saying he had no power and no phone service. He inquired whether the condo complex where we live had power. His plan was to move with his wife and young family into our unoccupied condo if all was O.K. Well I couldn’t get hold of anybody. The condo office didn’t answer and neither did most of the neighbours I called. They all used Rogers cable for their services and thus had no services. Finally I was able to connect with one resident who told me that ours was the only building in the area that had power and working elevators. Great News? Not quite. The water pump failed and only managed to pump water to the lower floors. Our unit was a couple of floors higher. people were filling buckets with water from the main floor party room and the workout locker rooms to enable them to flush their toilets.
My older daughter posted on Facebook that she had full power. I sent a text message to my son, advising him of this fact and he and his family moved in with his sister and brother in law and their family. My daughter also offered shelter to others who were without power. She was not alone. Toronto was showing that she still had her goodness. Many of her inhabitants opened their homes to those in need and invited them for Christmas dinner. Power for many will not be restored until after the holidays. How sad.
A Canadian Tire store ordered a shipment of generators which didn’t arrive until late Sunday night. The customers who were waiting at the store for them were treated by Canadian Tire to Pizza and a soft drink for their dinner. Warming centres are opening and drives are being organized to deliver water and food to those stranded, many of them seniors with serious health issues. The volunteers often have to make their way up dark stair cases , sometimes up 20 flights or more, carrying heavy bottled water and a flashlight.
Streets are like skating rinks. Power lines and beautiful large trees are down – blocking roadways and driveways. Two hospitals were closed. My heart goes out to all those affected and I hope my city gets back to normal shortly.