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Hurricane Sandy Toronto: GTA To Be Hit By Severe Winds, Flight Cancellations

The Greater Toronto Area will get lashed by rain and ‘severe’ winds as Hurricane Sandy — or what’s left of it — pushes up into Canada from the U.S. eastern seaboard.

Toronto will feel the brunt of the ‘Frankenstorm’ late Monday evening into Tuesday morning, with winds of 60 km an hour gusting up to 100 km/h as Sandy transitions into a powerful post-tropical storm, Environment Canada reports. About 35 millimetres of rain is expected in the GTA.

Much of Ontario will feel Sandy’s wrath, as winds in the Niagara and Sarnia regions could exceed 100 km/h.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre expects the storm to drop rainfall amounts of 20 millimetres in some areas to well over 50 millimetres in others. It also notes that rain could change into snow over central Ontario as temperatures stay in the low single digits.

Toronto's Pearson International airport has cancelled more than 300 flights due to Hurricane Sandy, with further cancellations expected tonight. Travellers are asked to check with individual airlines for flight status.

It’s the same story at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Porter Airlines, for instance, has cancelled all flights to and from Newark, Washington and Boston for the day because of the 'megastorm.'

With the increased chance of flooding, the City of Toronto has asked residents to ensure street drains are free of leaves, CBC reports.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said officials expect heavy rainfall and strong winds, with the potential for falling tree branches, power outages and flooding.

Ford encouraged residents to take "simple steps," including the removal of Halloween decorations and loose items outside that could be carried away by winds. He reminded drivers to treat intersections without traffic lights as four-way stops and suggested residents should charge cell phones now.

The city has called in extra staff for the night, Ford said.

The centre of the storm was positioned to come ashore Monday night in New Jersey, meaning the worst of the surge could be in the northern part of that state and in New York City and on Long Island. The Canadian Hurricane Centre said in its latest update that there is still a possibility the storm would get stronger before moving ashore.

Seven-metre waves could lash the Great Lakes, especially southern Lake Huron, and large waves are also expected to pound Nova Scotia's south shore.

Higher tides brought by a full moon compounded the threat to the metropolitan area of about 20 million people.

With files from The Canadian Press

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