Recent flooding leads to dramatic economic loss and claims in Canada: Aon Benfield

Strong winds that hit Western Canada were also a factor

The extreme amounts of rainfall that hit parts of British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes in May have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in economic loss and thousands of claims, according to a report by Aon Benfield.

The data is found in the company’s recently published Global Catastrophe Recap for May 2017.

The southern parts of British Columbia entered the month of May with several rivers flowing well above normal thanks to prolonged periods of rainfall in April. Further heavy rainfall on May 5 led to several of these rivers overflowing their banks, the deaths of at least two people and the evacuation of hundreds. Significant damage to infrastructure and agriculture was reported, according to the study.

Eastern Canada also saw heavy rainfall in early May, with the most falling between May 5 and May 6, which resulted in several rivers overflowing their banks. Two people were killed in Quebec and nearly 2,000 residents were evacuated.

“Significant flooding was also experienced across Ontario and in portions of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Among the worst affected communities was Ottawa-Gatineau where both the Ottawa and Gatineau Rivers burst their banks. More than 5,200 homes were damaged,” the report states.

Aon Benfield also discusses the extreme weather experienced by Western Canada in late May. “A powerful low pressure system brought strong winds and storm surge flooding to southern portions of Canada’s British Columbia province on May 23 before tracking into Alberta and Saskatchewan on May 24,” it states. “Numerous trees were downed and significant property damage was reported in all three provinces.”

This latter bout of severe weather produced thousands of claims and tens of millions of dollars in economic loss.


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