You may want to trade your parka for a rain jacket, as 'significant rainfall' is expected tonight, prompting Environment Canada to issue a Special Weather Statement for Toronto.
The weather agency says rain is expected to begin this evening and then taper off or change to snow by Saturday morning or afternoon.
Total rainfall amounts of 15 to 25 mm are expected.
However, Environment Canada says the frozen ground and snowpack will have a reduced ability to absorb this rainfall and local ponding on streets is possible, especially where storm drains are covered in snow or ice.
Environment Canada expects the rain to begin falling around 9 pm, which will be accompanied by winds of up to 20 km/h.
The rain will continue overnight and taper off around 6 am, turning into periods of snow mixed with rain.
According to the City of Toronto, during heavy rain, the sewers can become overloaded, which is why it’s essential that homeowners take steps to help protect their homes from basement flooding.
With the threat of significant rainfall this evening, residents should take the following steps to help reduce and prevent flooding from happening.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Basement Flooding
Every home is at risk of basement flooding, even if it has not happened before. Water in your basement is most likely to occur during a heavy rainfall, or when snow and ice are melting.
Outside of the house
To prevent water from getting into your house, the city recommends sealing all cracks or leaks in walls, floors, windows and foundations, and to seal all window wells. Residents can also increase the green space around their homes with plants and shrubs and install porous pavement to help absorb rainwater and melted snow.
Additionally, the city recommends clearing debris from roadside catch-basins (grates) to help water enter the storm sewer and ensure drainage swales (shallow ditches) between properties are maintained and clear of obstructions.
Inside the house
The city says homeowners need to understand they are responsible for plumbing from the property line to inside the home.
The city recommends hiring a licensed plumber who can conduct specialized testing or inspections, if needed, to help you identify the location and condition of key features of your household plumbing system.
You should also ensure your plumbing and draining systems are in good working condition, by fixing all cracks, blockages or other condition problems, and avoid creating clogs.
What to do if your basement is flooded
If your basement is flooded, it is necessary that you take appropriate action to protect your home, your health and safety. The city also offers owners of single-family, duplex, and triplex residential homes a Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy of up to $3,400 per property.
You can learn more about what to do if your home floods and how to prevent your basement from flooding here.