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South end of Don Valley Parkway set to re-open after flooding

Overnight heavy rain has caused the Don River to spill its banks sending water onto parts of the lower end of the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto, May 29, 2013. The highway was closed between Bloor Street and the Gardiner Expressway. At 8 a.m. the waters were receding, leaving mud that made the highway look more like a beach than a roadway.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

One of  Toronto's  busiest commuter arteries is expected to re-open in both directions by late Wednesday morning, after being shut down overnight by some of the severest flooding ever seen on the roadway.

The Don Valley Parkway was closed in both directions at around 5 a.m., shortly before the beginning of the morning rush hour, which brings tens of thousands of  drivers into Toronto from points east.

All lanes between the Gardiner Expressway and the Bayview/Bloor exit were closed after the Don River overflowed its banks, leaving behind water up to a metre deep, and motorists scrambling for alternate routes.

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The waters are now subsiding and a cleanup of the debris left behind is under way, police said.

The southbound lanes are expected to open by about 9:30 a.m. and the northbound lanes a couple of hours later, Constable Clint Stibbe of  Traffic Services tweeted from the scene.

In all, Toronto and the area north received up to 60 millimetres of rain before the downpour eased at around 6 a.m.

No injuries or serious traffic accidents were reported.

The shutdown on the DVP was not the only disruption. Other road closures included the intersection of Jane Street and Wilson Avenue in northwest of the city,  and a section of Torbram Road near Steeles Avenue in Brampton.

As well,  a section of GO Transit train track was under water for a while in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto, shutting down service at the Oriole and Old Cummer stations.

Sporadic rain showers are expected during the rest of the day but no more heavy rain is anticipated in the Toronto area, Environment Canada said.

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At The Globe and Mail since 1982, in assorted manifestations, chiefly crime reporter, foreign correspondent and member of the Editorial Board, Tim is now retired. More

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