Severe storm damage has been increasing in Alberta

Sep 10 2020, 9:28 am

Alberta’s severe weather events have been getting significantly worse over the past two decades — at least when it comes to the cost of all that damage.

A recent release from the Insurance Bureau of Canada states that 2020 has been an especially costly year for Albertans affected by storm damage, with natural catastrophes in the province totaling $2 billion in total insurance damage so far.

IBC notes that Canada-wide severe weather losses between 2009 and and 2019 averaged $1.9 billion, which Alberta alone has already surpassed.

The severity of weather damage has been steadily increasing, as IBC also stated that, between 1983 and 2008, Canada’s average yearly total for insured damage related to severe weather across the country was a mere $422 million — less than a quarter of what has been seen in once province in 2020, and that’s with a quarter of the year still to go.

IBC noted that four main storms were the cause of much of the damage in Alberta, all taking place between April and August.

A July 24 storm that hit Calgary, Drumheller, Airdrie, and Strathmore resulted in $135 million in insured damages and over 10,000 claims, while an August 2 storm caused $59 million in insured damage.

“Weather has hit our province hard this year,” said Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), in the release.

“The insurance industry is working to process the nearly 100,000 claims from the four spring and summer weather events, to ensure Albertans get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

The April flooding in Fort McMurray saw over half a billion dollars in insured damage, while the hailstorm in June caused $1.2 billion in damage to Calgary and the surrounding area.

The increase in severe weather throughout Alberta has also been noticed by storm chaser Matt Melnyk, who noted in a July interview with Daily Hive that this has been an unusually stormy summer for Alberta, with rare, tennis ball-sized hail having been seen at least twice.

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