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Hurricane Hazel: A family escapes the flood

On Oct. 15, 1954, the most famous hurricane in Canadian history struck Southern Ontario. Hurricane Hazel pounded the city of Toronto with 110 km/hr winds and more than 200 millimetres of rain in less than 24 hours. Bridges and streets were washed out, homes and trailers were washed into Lake Ontario. Thousands were left homeless, and 81 were killed – 35 of them on one street alone.

An unidentified man tells CBC Radio of his harrowing escape from a flooded home. As waters rise to the eaves of his house, the man escapes with his wife and baby over a swing bridge which collapses minutes later. Some of his neighbours are rescued by helicopter, but others perish as their homes are washed away.
• The Toronto weather office only issued a weather advisory about the storm, so Torontonians carried on with their lives as usual.
• When it looked like it was over, the storm suddenly strengthened again.
Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News Special
Broadcast Date: Oct. 14, 1954
Duration: 2:20

Last updated: January 11, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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