|A woman was killed when a Staples sign flew off its post and hit her at St. Clair Avenue and Keele Street around 7 p.m. in the city of Toronto on October 29, 2012. (QMI Agency/DAVE THOMAS)
TORONTO - TORONTO -- Post-tropical storm Sandy claimed the life of a middle-aged pedestrian Monday night after she was hit on the back of the head by a large advertising sign outside a west-end store.
High winds are being blamed in the death of the woman, who was in her early 50s, outside a Staples store around 7 p.m.
``There were initial reports of debris hitting her,” a Toronto Emergency Services (EMS) supervisor told QMI Agency, adding “an advertising sign hit her on the back of the head.
“There were heavy winds at the time,” he said.
By 8:30 p.m., the storm had knocked out power to about 6,000 homes in Toronto and another 15,000 dwellings across southern Ontario.
High winds up to 60 km/h — later accompanied by heavy rain — destroyed umbrellas, ripped branches and uprooted trees in some parts of the city.
Ontario communities dealing with the worst blackouts included Bowmanville, Strathroy, Huntsville, Vankleek Hill, Bancroft and Orangeville.
Hydro One spokesman Nancy Shadick said “we’re just monitoring weather patterns,” with extra repair crews available over “the next couple of days.
“Crews across the province are prepared to respond to storms,” she said.
Toronto Hydro spokesman Jennifer Link said the reported power outages came from residents “across the city.
“We do have extra crews out,” she told the Toronto Sun. “They are assessing the damage and making repairs.”
Link said most of the problems arose due to tree branches falling on electrical wires.
A supervisor at Toronto Police headquarters reported no major incidents.