They Had a Foot of Air Space in Elevator. The Water Kept Coming

Dramatic rescue comes amid Toronto flooding
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2018 8:17 AM CDT
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Toronto Blue Jays fans get stuck in the Rogers Centre as the entrance to the parking garage floods with torrential rain in Toronto on Tuesday.   (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Newser) – Toronto police pulled off an impressive rescue in the city swamped by flooding Tuesday night. Six minutes after receiving a call about two men trapped in a flooded elevator with only a foot of air space, officers swam into the water-filled basement of a commercial building and used a crowbar to free the pair, both of whom were fine other than a minor hand injury. "It's actually quite an amazing story and we're just happy everything turned out in a positive manner," a police spokeswoman tells the Canadian Press, adding the men were able to stand on the elevator's handrails to keep their heads above the water, which had reached six feet. "The water was rising very, very quickly," she tells Global News.

Environment Canada had issued a weather warning, lifted around 11:30pm, with 2 to 4 inches of rain expected across the region. Per Global News, a meteorologist says 2 to 3 inches or "basically more than a month's rain" fell in the span of a few hours, leading to flash flooding in the downtown core. Rain filled underpasses, submerging cars whose occupants were safely rescued. Photos shared on social media showed streetcars unmovable, while City News reports one was also submerged. Mayor John Tory even felt the effects: Staffers used at least 10 buckets to catch water from leaks in the roof outside his office at City Hall, per CP. At least 16,000 people lost power in the city, though it has since been restored.

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