A rainfall warning from Environment Canada has prompted fears that the Humber will flood again today, especially around the Lions Park footbridge where an ice jam is damming the river. Check back to this article for updates and images throughout the day.
8am: the river is rising steadily but below levels reached last week when the Weston access to the bridge was submerged. The ice jam is still in place.
10:30am: a steady rise in the water but no sign of ice movement.
1:00pm: water still rising; ice jam holding.
3:30pm: starting to break up
5:30 Not much to report. Ice is holding in spite of a few false starts.
The ice moved about 100m past the bridge overnight without incident and water levels are subsiding. It’s amazing (and annoying) how rarely the ice moves during daylight hours. The ice jam now occupies the river at the curve in Raymore Park and continues to flood the land there.
It begins just south of Lawrence Avenue, a gigantic barrage of ice piling up and blocking the Humber. Water has been forced to go around the ice and flood Lions Park.
The recent thaw has compounded the blocking of the Humber that occurred in January. Large chunks of ice floated downstream as the river rose last week and they have plugged the channel forcing it to flood its banks. This latest pile of ice begins by the Lions Arena and continues south all the way to the dam and fish ladder in Raymore Park.
Halfway between the two lies the footbridge connecting Weston to Etobicoke. Normally, the abutments of the old bridge destroyed in the Hurricane Hazel disaster are visible; now they are buried without trace under tonnes of ice. On Saturday, ice was brushing the underside of the bridge and today, the bridge foundations are underwater and in danger of being washed away.
This comparison gives an idea of the depth of the ice blocking the river:
Here is the almost same view in summer:
Is the bridge in danger? My guess is that if there is another thaw soon, there will be added pressure on the foundations, not from ice but from water undermining them.
Unfortunately, Thursday’s forecast is for periods of rain and a high of 6°C.