|Keating Channel / Don River Flood Inquiry Report (by a great mentor F. Ivan Lorant)|
The 1981 inquiry into Toronto's Don River flooding sheds light on past railway flooding, including the area of the infamous Metrolinx GO Train flooding on July 8, 2013. The 81 page report is available at the Toronto Reference Library:
The inquiry report provides a chronology of 40 Don River flood events during both ice-jam and ice-free conditions dating back to spring 1801 when aboriginals could not spear fish for salmon due to the post-flood high turbidity levels. Railway line damage and flooding during ice-free conditions (i.e., no ice blockage of bridges) was reported in the "Great Flood" on September 13, 1878, the spring of 1914, and during two storms in 1980 (March and April). Limited flooding was also reported on May 11, 1981 including the area of the Bayview Extension and the Toronto Brick Yards - the stranded GO Train incident occurred was just south-west of the Brick Yards (now the Evergreen Brick Works). The report indicates that train operation has halted, or trains were detoured during floods, including December 25, 1979, January 11, 1980, March 21, 1980, April 14, 1980, February 11, 1981 and May 11, 1981.
|Example historical flooding in vicinity of stranded GO Train during July 8, 2013 flood (report Table 1).|
|Train operation was halted or detoured during previous Don River floods.|
The recent Environment Commissioner of Ontario press release for Feeling the Heat: Greenhouse Gas Progress Report 2015 correlates "commuter rail line" damages to climate change:
"The report notes that extreme weather associated with climate change has already damaged the province’s infrastructure; for example, intense storms and flash floods in recent years have caused costly damage to provincial roadways and commuter rail lines."
Update: Analysis by CityFloodMap.com has revealed that more severe flooding of the Metrolinx rail line occurred less than 6 weeks before the stranded GO Train incident:
May 29, 2013 Flood Deeper Than July 8, 2013 - Luckily Misses Trains