Thursday, April 17th13.0°C

Toronto: safety urged after ice storm

As the hard-hit Toronto area recovers from the ice storm that knocked out power to communities all the way to the Atlantic, officials are warning residents to use caution in the wake of several carbon monoxide poisonings.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says there were about six times as many calls about carbon monoxide Monday as the city gets in a usual day — 110 calls compared to about 20.

In Toronto alone Monday night, 11 people were taken to hospital with signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and two people died in the town of Newcastle, east of Toronto, after trying to keep warm with a gas generator in the garage.

Fire officials say candles, barbecues and generators should not be used indoors because of the risk of carbon monoxide fumes.

Ford says the city is making progress bringing power back to residents, with 115,000 customers left awaiting hydro, down from 300,000 people at the height of the outages that began on the weekend.

He says additional help has arrived from Ottawa and Windsor and about 50 crews worked overnight to bring residents back on line, adding they are aiming to restore all power by Thursday or Friday.

But the mayor says the last 50,000 customers will be hardest because they are "one-offs" — meaning one house left on a street.

The ice storm left hundreds of thousands without power in Ontario and Quebec before battering Atlantic Canada on Monday.

Travellers trying to get home for the holidays continued to face delays and cancellations on airlines and trains.

The Canadian Press

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