Gullywasher destroys Finch Ave. just west of Sentinel Road

One look at the damage done to Finch Avenue, just west of Sentinel Road, and it’s a wonder that no one was killed. In what is expected to take months and cost over $1 million to repair, a large section of Finch Ave. West over Black Creek is no more – the road collapsed following the deluge associated with Friday’s gullywasher of a storm.

Right and below: Flood damage to Finch Ave. just west of Sentinel Road.

The faces of the work crews and area residents showed their complete disbelief at the incredible damage done by the storm, which brought the wrath of the heavens down on bewildered GTA residents. “I think it’s gonna take more than a few months to fix this one,” said Robert Collins, a passerby who was observing the work crews. “There isn’t much left and it looks like they’ll have to secure the sides of the washout before they can begin work.” Officials have confirmed that analysis.

For faculty, staff and students of York University, the washout of Finch Ave. will cause some moderate inconvenience. As a result of flood damage to the road, all Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) buses on the 36 Finch West and 309 Finch West routes will be diverted in both directions via Driftwood Ave., Grandravine Drive and Sentinel Road. There will be no TTC Service on Finch Ave. between Driftwood Ave. and Sentinel Road.

At an emergency meeting held yesterday morning, City of Toronto officials, TTC, police, utility operators and engineering personnel planned how to deal with the road washout. “Securing the slope and returning services to the area that were supplied by underground utilities continues to be the first priority. Water services have been restored and Bell Canada continues to work on restoring phone service to affected residents,” said Kevin Sack, a spokesperson for the city’s public works department.

“A detour through the area will be established and signage placed where required to direct vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The city advises all residents to stay away from the area, respect all barriers and follow directions on signage,” said Sack. “It is not safe for residents to walk down into the area. Although the weather outside may now be dry the soil and slope in the area continues to be unstable. The replacement of the road will be done as quickly as possible but is expected to take many months.”


Above: TTC buses on the 36 Finch West and 309 Finch West routes will be
diverted in both directions via Driftwood Ave., Grandravine Drive and Sentinel

Friday’s storm caused numerous power outages, flash floods and damage to a number of key transportation routes in the Greater Toronto Area. Two twisters touched down in Ontario, according to Environment Canada. The first began in Milverton, Ont., Friday afternoon and moved east towards Fergus, a community near Conestoga Lake. The second developed near Salem, and moved to Lake Belwood, just north of Fergus. In and around York, there were torrential rains, flooding, near-zero visibility and a brief hailstorm.