TORONTO - Some stayed home to deal with flooded basements, others battled long commutes on still soggy streets to make their way into work, while nearly everyone had a storm story to swap.

Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area mopped up Tuesday after a record-smashing night of pounding rain and driving wind caused flash floods which set cars afloat, stranded rail commuters and caused widespread power outages in the region.

"It is really, probably the most intense, wettest moment in Toronto's history," Environment Canada senior climatologist David Philips told The Canadian Press.

"No infrastructure could handle this...you just have to accept the fact that you're going to be flooded."

Phillips said two separate storm cells moved over the city at the same time, and then stalled over Toronto for hours.

"It's almost like Toronto was a target with a bull's eye," he said.

The downpour left several roads and underpasses under water, forcing some people to abandon their vehicles. Subway, bus and streetcar services were either halted or slowed to a crawl, creating chaos during rush hour. Many finally arrived home hours late to deal with flooded basements and leaking windows in residences which had lost power.

In one of the more serious commuter incidents, 1,400 people were stranded on a northbound GO Transit train as murky water seeped into the cars. It took police and firefighters about seven hours to ferry everyone to dry ground aboard small inflatable boats.

The timing of the storm, which was at its worst as many were heading home from work, magnified its impact, said Phillips.

"It was bad luck, in the sense that this storm hit at the worst possible time," he said. "Right at rush hour, on a Monday afternoon, people were almost seduced into coming outside and going home, and that's when this huge rainstorm hit."

By Tuesday, the GTA was starting to dry off, but some still made the decision to stay home.

Tanya Morgado, who commutes from Mississauga, Ont., to downtown Toronto, chose to focus on her flooded basement instead of trying to make her way into work.

"I think it just needs to get gutted," she said of the finished basement in the house she moved into just last fall.

When the 25-year-old got home on Monday night, she ran downstairs — in the dark due to a loss of power — to find muddy water seeping in and rising at an alarming rate.

At its highest point, Morgado estimated about 45 centimetres of water covered her carpeted basement floors, rising higher than the electric sockets in the walls.

Her leather couches, television, surround sound system are all damaged, but Morgado said she's trying to stay calm and remember that the situation could have been worse.

"You just kind of have to take it as it comes," she said. "One woman was telling us that the water in her mom's basement was at chest level, and hers was mixed with sewage."

The storms which hammered the GTA drew the attention of the prime minister, who tweeted his sympathies on Tuesday.

"Thoughts are with the people of Toronto this morning as they recover from the effects of #TOflood," said Stephen Harper.

Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne thanked all those who had helped one another during Monday's flooding.

"Ontario residents have demonstrated great endurance, resilience and good humour," she said in a statement.

"Our government and its agencies remain available to affected municipalities and our Emergency Management Ontario is in contact with city officials."

In Toronto, authorities warned it would take some time for everything to return to normal, but praised city crews for their work.

"Toronto has persevered — we have weathered the storm," Mayor Rob Ford said at city hall.

"At some points it was really scary out there. I saw a few people panicking."

Ford also asked for a full review to see how the city could improve its procedures during emergencies.

While power had been restored to most areas, Ford said the system was "hanging by a thread" and urged residents to turn off all non-essential electronics in their homes.

About 70,000 customers were without electricity Tuesday night, 25,000 due to rolling blackouts. About 300,000 customers had been left in the dark at the height of the outage Monday due to "significant flooding" at two transmission stations.

One of the transmission stations remained under about six to nine metres of water, said Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines.

He added that it would be "a real challenge" to get customers still without power back online, but hoped to be able to do so by early Wednesday morning. Haines urged people to help the system — which is operating beyond its capacity — by turning off local air conditioners and pool pumps.

Meanwhile, Toronto's 311 help line reported receiving about 1,000 calls about basement flooding.

Pete Karageorgos, a spokesman for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said he suspected that insurance companies in Toronto were very busy responding to claims.

But he warned not all home insurance policies cover flooding.

"You have to have sewer back-up coverage — that is for water to enter your home through the sewers," he said. "But if you left your window open yesterday and water came rushing into your basement that wouldn't qualify, it has to be accidental and sudden."

Overland insurance coverage, or coverage for when a body of water overflows into a house, is not currently available anywhere in Canada, according to Karageorgos.

Pearson International Airport reported 126 millimetres of rain throughout Monday, breaking the previous single-day rainfall record for the city set back on Oct. 15, 1954, when hurricane Hazel dumped 121 millimetres of rain.

Phillips warns there is more rain in the forecast, although it likely won't be as intense as what he says was possibly the "storm of the century."

"We’re seeing the similar kind of heat and humidity and active and unsettled weather today and tomorrow... but not quite the chaotic and turbulent and energetic system that we saw yesterday," he said.

Environment Canada issued another warning Tuesday afternoon to southern Ontario residents of possible torrential downpours, damaging winds and large hail overnight into Wednesday morning.

But Phillips said better weather is forecast for Thursday through Sunday, "where we can maybe clean up and get back to some semblance of normality."

— with files from Joshua Learn and Jeff Mackey

Loading Slideshow...
  • In this photo provided by Michael Li, water rises in a GO Train stranded on flooded tracks in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013. A severe thunderstorm forced the shutdown of Toronto's subways, cut power to 300,000 in Canada's largest city and caused Porter Airlines to cancel all flights out of the downtown airport Monday evening. (AP Photo/Micheal Li via The Canadian Press)

  • Stranded passengers await rescue on a flooded GO Train in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013. A severe thunderstorm forced the shutdown of Toronto's subways, cut power to 300,000 in Canada's largest city and caused Porter Airlines to cancel all flights out of the downtown airport Monday evening. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • A GO Train is stranded on flooded tracks in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013. A severe thunderstorm forced the shutdown of Toronto's subways, cut power to 300,000 in Canada's largest city and caused Porter Airlines to cancel all flights out of the downtown airport Monday evening. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Winston Neutel)

  • A GO Train is stranded on flooded tracks in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013. A severe thunderstorm forced the shutdown of Toronto's subways, cut power to 300,000 in Canada's largest city and caused Porter Airlines to cancel all flights out of the downtown airport Monday evening. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Winston Neutel)

  • A tow truck driver floats a car out of the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto on Monday, July 8 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • A woman gets back into her flooded car on the Toronto Indy course on Lakeshore Boulevard in Toronto on Monday, July 8 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • A woman gets back in her car in flood water on Lakeshore West during a storm in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • Stranded passengers are rescued from a flooded GO Train in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013. A severe thunderstorm forced the shutdown of Toronto's subways, cut power to 300,000 in Canada's largest city and caused Porter Airlines to cancel all flights out of the downtown airport Monday evening. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • Stranded passengers are rescued from a flooded GO Train in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013. A severe thunderstorm forced the shutdown of Toronto's subways, cut power to 300,000 in Canada's largest city and caused Porter Airlines to cancel all flights out of the downtown airport Monday evening. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • Stranded passengers are rescued from a flooded GO Train in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013. A severe thunderstorm forced the shutdown of Toronto's subways, cut power to 300,000 in Canada's largest city and caused Porter Airlines to cancel all flights out of the downtown airport Monday evening. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • Stranded passengers are rescued from a flooded GO Train in Toronto on Monday, July 8, 2013. A severe thunderstorm forced the shutdown of Toronto's subways, cut power to 300,000 in Canada's largest city and caused Porter Airlines to cancel all flights out of the downtown airport Monday evening. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • Toronto Apocalypse 2013

  • After the storm cleared, traffic heads out west of the downtown core.

  • Toronto Apocalypse 2013

  • Toronto Apocalypse 2013

  • Toronto Apocalypse 2013

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/meltait/status/354380494454001664" target="_blank">Tweet from @meltait</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/hungrypo/status/354382745381789696" target="_blank">Tweet from @hungrypo</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/TeenainToronto/status/354399592109993985" target="_blank">Tweet from @teennainToronto</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/Nock4Six/status/354362607794270209" target="_blank">Tweet from Nock4Six</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/weathernetwork/status/354416176895500290" target="_blank">Twitter: Tweet from @weathernetwork</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/joyandwoe/status/354376407238971394" target="_blank">Tweet from @joyandwoe</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/mathewi/status/354377501700669441" target="_blank">Twitter</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/dorkkly/status/354384348629323776" target="_blank">Tweet by @dorkkly</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/robcer/status/354366213209600003" target="_blank">Tweet by @robcer</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/sabrina_scott/status/354358458629369858" target="_blank">Tweet by @sabrina_scott</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/astroboy/status/354390796469944320" target="_blank">Tweet by @sukminc</a>

  • Flood

    Sent to us by <a href="https://twitter.com/MsNikkiThomas" target="_blank">@MsNikkiThomas</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/Lucypalm/status/354369513317351427" target="_blank">Tweet by @lucypalm</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/jumpnhigh/status/354390010704822272" target="_blank">Tweet from @jumpnhigh</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/vickilaszlo/status/354381014333808640" target="_blank">Tweet from @vickilaszio</a>

  • <a href="https://twitter.com/DSCanCreations/status/354410559065706496" target="_blank">Twitter</a>

  • Dave Pankew

  • Dave Pankew

  • Lakeshore and Spadina.

  • Union Station Tuesday

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/hp_blogger_Kenny Yum"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/contributors/kenny-yum/headshot.jpg" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/hp_blogger_Kenny Yum">HuffPost Blogger Kenny Yum</a>:<br />A little wet on Tuesday morning.

  • Flood

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/hp_blogger_Kenny Yum"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/contributors/kenny-yum/headshot.jpg" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/hp_blogger_Kenny Yum">HuffPost Blogger Kenny Yum</a>:<br />Near Kiping Station Monday after 6 p.m.

  • Flood

    Sent to us by <a href="https://twitter.com/MsNikkiThomas" target="_blank">@MsNikkiThomas</a>

  • Flood

    Sent to us by <a href="https://twitter.com/MsNikkiThomas" target="_blank">@MsNikkiThomas</a>

  • The Storm

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/MaryHynes"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/MaryHynes">MaryHynes</a>:<br />Another shot from the subway

  • After the storm @ Union Station

    It's like the rain never happened

  • The Storm

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/MaryHynes"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/MaryHynes">MaryHynes</a>:<br />From the Viaduct

  • NEXT: Toronto wants Calgary Mayor Nenshi

    As the City of Toronto dealt with flooding on Monday, some Twitter users wondered about Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi's availability. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/08/toronto-flooding-2013-naheed-nenshi_n_3564081.html" target="_blank">READ THE STORY HERE</a>



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Environment Canada has issued a storm watch for many parts of southern Ontario. They warn of possible hail, thunder and lightning and heavy rainfall later tonight.

Their statement:

A low pressure trough is expected to cross Southern Ontario early Wednesday. Conditions will be favourable for thunderstorms to develop ahead of the trough overnight into Wednesday morning. Some of these storms could contain torrential downpours, damaging winds, and large hail.

The location and coverage of the storms is very uncertain. Environment Canada will monitor this situation closely.Severe thunderstorm watches may be issued this evening as more data becomes available.

The public is advised to monitor future statements and warnings closely.

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Commuter Andrew Ryan recounts his seven hour commute home aboard a GO Train that was quickly flooded by rising waters.

From the piece:

To a person, every passenger was glued to a cell phone, either phoning loved ones or looking for details on various media outlets. A woman with an iPad streaming live video of our GO nightmare was suddenly very popular.

From our compartment window, we could see a phalanx of police cars, fire trucks and EMS vehicles lined up along a roadway to our west. Although they were less than a hundred yards way, it was fairly apparent they couldn’t do anything until the water level outside dropped.

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Officials say that power in Mississauga and Toronto is almost fully restored after intense rainfall knocked out power in large parts of both cities.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Toronto Hydro officials are urging that residents continue to conserve power.

Read our full story

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The Toronto Police has issued a safety reminder for Toronto residents:

Their tips. You can read the full release.

1. Avoid driving on roadways with standing water 2. Treat intersections without working signals as all-way-stops 3. Do not touch or handle any wires that may have come down during the storm 4. To contact police for non-emergency incidents call 416-808-2222, keeping 9-1-1 for emergencies 5. Stay clear of riverbanks as the walls will be very soft and unstable 6. Water levels will have risen and water will be fast-moving and dangerous

7. Keep a close eye on children and pets near rivers/streams/lakes

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Trapped commuters on a GO Train got a scaly surprise on Monday night. A small snake was found swimming in the water that flooded the compartment.

Read the full story

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"I was in the car with my kids and my wife trying to help people out," Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said at a press conference.

Ford also said that he visited a house last night with a flooded basement.

"I don't think any city could have handled what we just went through," Ford also said.

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TTC CEO Andy Byford praised his staff for getting most of the TTC up and running for Tuesday morning's rush hour. "It's been a fantastic effort by my staff," he said at a press conference. "I pay tribute to myself," he added.

Byford also notes that the last stretch of affected track on the city's west side might be restored by the evening rush hour.

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Toronto Hydro says that thousands of Torontonians are still without power and that the system is 'currently operating beyond capacity'. Toronto Hydro chief Anthony Haines urged that residents try to conserve power today and into the evening. "The system is not in normal working condition," he added.

He also said that they are working to restore power to all those affected but that it may take until tomorrow to restore power.

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford asked people to reduce electricity use in the city today. "We are hanging on by a thread," the mayor told a press conference on Tuesday morning.

The mayor also praised emergency crews for their work overnight. "Toronto has persevered. We have weathered the storm," he said.

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For health and safety tips, see the Government of Canada's 'After A Flood' checklist (or call 1-800-668-2642).

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Check out GO Transit's most recent updates at GOTransit.com.

45) 407 WEST GO BUS:

The following buses have been cancelled due to operational reasons and to assist in rail service recovery:

. The (45) Streetsville GO 08:00 - York U 09:00 bus trip. Next bus:

(45) Streetsville GO 08:30 - York U 09:30 bus

. The (45) York U 09:30 - Streetsville GO 10:15 bus trip. Next bus

(45) York U 10:30 - Streetsville GO 11:15 bus.

. The (47) Hamilton GO 07:45 - York U 09:40 bus trip. Next bus: (47)

Hamilton GO 08:20 - York U 10:10 bus.

. The (46) Oakville GO 08:40 - York U 09:55 bus trip is cancelled due to assisting with the rail service recovery plan. Next bus: (46)

Oakville GO 09:10 - York U 10:25 bus.

. The (46) York U 10:15 - Oakville GO 11:25 bus trip is cancelled due to assisting with the rail service recovery plane. Next bus: (46) York

U 10:45 - Oakville GO 11:55 bus trip.

. The (48B) Meadowvale GO 07:50 - York U 08:45 bus trip. Next bus: (48) U of Guelph 07:20 - York U 09:15 bus trip.

(19) OAKVILLE/NORTH YORK GO BUS: . The (19C) Square One GO Term. 07:35 - Finch Term. 08:30 bus trip.

Next bus:(19C) Square One GO Term. 07:55 - Finch Term. 08:50.

. (21) MILTON GO BUS: . The (21K) Square One GO Term. 08:35 - Union Station Bus Term. 09:20 bus. Next bus: (21K) Square One GO Term. 08:45 - Union

Station Bus Term. 09:30.

. The (21H) Union Station Bus Term. 09:50 - Square One GO Term. 10:35 bus. Next bus: (21H) Union Station Bus Term. 10:20 - Square

One GO Term. 11:05 bus trip.

(29) GUELPH/MISSISSAUGA GO BUS:

. The (29) Guelph Central GO 07:15 - Cooksville GO 08:45 bus trip is delayed 20 minutes west of Square One due to heavy traffic.

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Find the latest GO Transit updates here.

The following is the GO Train status update, as of 9:11 a.m.

AM GO TRAIN STATUS UPDATE: Last evening’s torrential rains have washed out sections of track across our rail system. Because of this, train service across our system will be

operating as follows:

LAKESHORE WEST LINE: Trains are operating a shuttle train service between Aldershot and Port Credit and Long Branch and Union. We're also operating a shuttle bus between Port Credit and Long Branch to connect the two. The following train trip will run as scheduled then turn into a shuttle train

once completed.

MILTON LINE: Due to severe flooding at the Kipling Subway, we are unable to make a stop at the Kipling GO Station until further notice. You may take Mississauga MiWay from Dixie GO or TTC shuttle buses to Kipling.

Additionally, due to a signal malfunction caused by extreme weather the following trains are delayed:

. The Milton 07:53 - Union 08:53 train trip is on the move; delayed 31

minutes from Kipling due to a signal malfunction caused by the extreme weather.

RICHMOND HILL LINE: GO Trains will service Richmond Hill and Langstaff GO only and will then be rerouted on an alternate corridor into Union Station. As a result, you can expect delays of approximately 30-45 minutes arriving into Union

Station.

GO Train service is not be available from the Oriole and Old Cummer GO stations; however, passengers may use their GO fares to travel on the TTC at Leslie, Finch, Sheppard and York Mills Stations at a staffed entrance. . The Richmond Hill 09:20 – Union 10:06 train trip will be replaced by a

bus service.

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Toronto Hydro has updated the power status. As of 4:54 a.m.:

At the height of the event, approximately 300,000 customers were without power. The main issue related to a lack of supply from Hydro One stations in Toronto due to flooding. All but 35,000 customers, mainly in the west end were restored by 3 a.m. The remaining 35,000 customers within the boundaries of Highway 401, Hwy 427, Lakeshore Blvd and Jane Street extending over towards the Humber River should expect to be restored by mid-day.

Power outages are affecting TTC service along Bloor between Islington and Kipling. Consult the TTC for other transportation service interruptions.

Customers who do not live in the west end and awake without power should call in to our Lights Out line at 416-542-8000 to report their outage.

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Click here for the latest GO Train updates. The Richmond Hill Line was being rerouted with delays and cancellations and a number of other lines were being cancelled.

Here is the update as of 5:51

LAKESHORE WEST LINE:

The following eastbound train service will originate as scheduled and make all stops as far as Port Credit; GO Buses will then operate between Port Credit and Long Branch Stations where passengers may reconnect with another eastbound train to continue on to Union Station. These connecting trains are expected to depart eastbound

from Long Branch at 20 minute intervals.

. Aldershot GO 05:07 – Union 06:10 (Port Credit at 05:43) . Aldershot GO 05:35 - Union 06:38 (Port Credit at 06:13) . Aldershot GO 06:03 - Union 07:06 (Port Credit at 06:39) . Hamilton GO 06:12 - Union 07:25 (Port Credit at 07:10) . Hamilton GO 06:32 - Union 07:43 (Port Credit at 07:28) . Aldershot GO 07:07 - Union 08:05 (Port Credit at 07:49)

. Hamilton GO 07:15 - Union 08:32 (Port Credit at 08:11)

Once the above trains have completed their trips, they will operate at

20 minute intervals in both directions.

LAKESHORE EAST LINE:

The following adjustments have been made to this service:

. The Oshawa GO 06:47 – Union 07:38 and the Oshawa 07:00 – Union

07:50 train trips will operate all stops into Union Station.

. The Pickering GO 07:23 – Union 08:08 train trip is cancelled.

MILTON LINE: . The Milton 07:13 – Union 08:13 train trip is cancelled.

. The Milton 07:53 – Union 08:53 train trip is cancelled.

RICHMOND HILL LINE: GO Trains will service Richmond Hill and Langstaff GO only and will then be rerouted on an alternate corridor into Union Station. As a result, you can expect delays of approximately 30-45 minutes arriving into Union Station. GO Train service will not be available from the Oriole and Old Cummer GO stations; however, passengers may use their GO fares to travel on the TTC at Leslie, Finch, Sheppard and York Mills Stations at a staffed entrance. . The Richmond Hill 06:25 – Union 07:11 train trip is cancelled. . The Richmond Hill 09:20 – Union 10:06 train trips will be replaced by a bus service.

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