This week, Fort McMurray in Alberta was hit with a double whammy. Residents had just started to rebuild after a massive fire that had been raging out of control for weeks. Evacuees were just returning, many of them to find they had nothing to return to. After dealing with fire, hornets, wasps and bears, the bears having moved in to feast on the bounty of waste product residents left behind in the mad dash to escape, they are now dealing with flooding. While it is not as bad as it was in 2013, it is one more headache to deal with for residents who are surely at the breaking point. Damage reports are sparse, because compared to the scale of devastation wrought by the fire, it did virtually none. There was basement flooding and sewage backup, however, meaning some of what precious little the returning residents were salvaging, those who had lost nearly everything, also sustained damage.
What happened with the flooding situation in Fort McMurray is considerably mild when compared to what happened in Texas. 55 people had to be rescued from the raging torrent there, but tragically six people could not be rescued. Additionally, an 11 year old boy is presumed dead. Hundreds of people were forced to flee their homes to escape the path of the rising flood waters. The Brazos River reached the 54 foot (16.4m) mark, a new record.
In British Columbia, the district of Chetwynd is completely cut off from the rest of the province due to flooding there. Over 79mm of rain fell over Chetwynd, and there was even some snow, making an incredibly dangerous situation on the highway that connects it to the rest of province. The route will be closed for an indefinite period of time. In Dawson’s Creek, BC, flooding necessitated a dramatic water rescue, with three people trapped in a car teetering over the edge a waterfall that was once a road. They received a record amount of rain that triggered the flooding that damaged large swathes of BC. In Winnepeg, 44ml (1.73 in) fell in only a half hour. The storm system that dumped that incredibly heavy rainfall also brought baseball sized hail. There are not yet any damage reports from the hail, but we will update you with any we hear of next week.
In other news, a conflagration in southern California is out of control. Over 1,200 firefirghters are required to fight it, and they have not had great success, The fire is currently larger than 4,000 acres. Officials have ordered 400 houses near Santa Barbara to be evacuated.
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