Toronto Storm Causes Deluge of 211 Calls
In the first 17 hours of the July 8th flash flood, 682 people received reassurance, direction and up-to-date information when they called 211 Central. “The woman in the car in front had water up to her windows, it was awful, very frightening,” said one shaken driver caught unexpectedly in the one-in-100-year sudden storm that hit Toronto, stranding commuters and resulting in 300,000 residents without hydro. Most 211 calls were from people who had lost power and their access to information from T.V., the internet or radio and felt very isolated. They called to find out the extent of the power outage and when the hydro repair would be completed. As the power remained out, callers asked about dealing with spoiled food and getting about in the city because the transportation hub at Union Station was flooded and would remain so for days.