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Flooding fight continues as Lake Ontario levels continue to rise

Last Updated Jun 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm EDT

City staff and volunteers continue to fight flooding on the Toronto islands.

Councillor Joe Cressy tweeting Saturday morning that 50 students from the Island Public School and Voice Integrative School helped with the sandbagging efforts on Friday and more than 60 city staff are on the island today.

The city has also deployed 30 industrial pumps to keep the island open and safe.

Cressy says to date 27,000 sandbags have been filled but he tells 680 NEWS the annual sandbagging efforts to prevent flooding is not a permanent solution.

“Our land and infrastructure haven’t changed but the climate has and that means that long term we need to invest in climate change adaptation measures, otherwise we will – not just the islands but a large part of the waterfront – be consumed by rising water levels.”

At HTO park along Toronto’s Inner Harbour, the beach is almost completely flooded with chairs and patio furniture under water. The Beaches on the city’s east end are also feeling the effects of rising water. This week, a popular boathouse flooded, while the boardwalk surrounding it began to collapse from the erosion beneath it.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority says Lake Ontario water levels are currently the highest ever recorded adding water levels haven’t peaked yet.

“We’ve once again seen the record highs we saw in 2017, and they’re expected to rise a bit due to the precipitation we’re expecting this evening, as well as more throughout the week,” said Rehana Rajabali, a senior manager of flood risk management at the TRCA.

“With the change in climate it’s like rolling the dice that you might get more of these factors that lead to these extreme events happen more frequently.”

Officials add the water is expected to continue rising for the next five days or so and it will take between two-to-three weeks before the water level recedes.

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