Severe weather in May cost Canada hundreds of millions of US dollars

Published: June 12, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Canada was battered by severe weather in one of the worst May’s on record. The country suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in damages during the month, with Western and Eastern Canada regions worst hit.

Aon Benfield has recently released its “Global Catastrophe Recap” and says southern areas of British Columbia suffered prolonged rain storms through April and into May. This left water levels high and rivers flowing above their norm for the time of the year.

Continued rain during May resulted in many rivers overflowing and causing overland flooding in the province. Two people were confirmed dead and hundreds were forced to leave their homes. Aon says thousands of structures were damaged and the loss could reach tens of millions of US dollars.

In Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes, rivers also overflowed with a further two people killed and thousands more evacuated.

“Among the worst affected communities was Ottawa-Gatineau where both the Ottawa and Gatineau Rivers burst their banks,” the report said. “More than 5,200 homes were damaged.”

A low-pressure system hit B.C. Alberta, and Saskatchewan in late May, bringing disastrous high winds and flooding.

“Numerous trees were downed and significant property damage was reported in all three provinces. Almost 200,000 customers were without power at the storm’s peak,” the report notes.