Louisiana has seen the worst deluge since Hurricane Katrina, and the worst weather-related disaster in the Continental US since Superstorm Sandy. Of course, storm surge and poorly designed levees were the chief reasons for the tremendous devastation. This inundation, in which at least 13 people were killed and over 100,000 people had to file for FEMA assistance because of damaged and destroyed homes is beyond extreme. Up to 24 inches of rain were dumped over just two days, causing the lower Mississipi to overflow its banks. This was a 1,000-year storm. The thing is, there are an alarming number of incredibly rare storms that seem to be clustering together. Super Storm Sandy itself is far from a distant memory. The same is true of the 100-year flood in Calgary. While there is no great flooding to speak of in Calgary, the month of July brought the entire average yearly precipitation, and August was also exceptionally stormy until recently. The town of Westlock, near Edmonton, has not been spared the wrath of nature either, experiencing substantial flooding. The damages in Westlock have not yet been tallied, but it is likely to be in the billions. Residents there cannot remember any similar flooding in over 40 years. Grand Prarie, an Alberta oil town, flooded twice this month.
Meanwhile, some firestorms are just now coming under control, after wreaking havoc on parts of France. Eleven large wildfires were burning throughout California. That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. There are also out of control fires in Idaho, and a conflagration in Chilliwack, BC, which 35 firefighters cannot contain at all. That fire is still growing and is 17 hectares (42 acres). While not so extreme in and of itself, it grew to that size in only one afternoon and is only one of 50 in BC, which is a tinderbox due to the hot, dry weather they have had this summer. Meanwhile, a fire in Halifax, Nova Scotia is only 15% contained and has already spread to 350 hectares (864 acres). A fire is raging in Grand Teton National Park and blocking access to One of Yellowstone’s entrances. The monster fire is 12,500 acres (5,085 hectares). There are naturally closures in both parks, but they are still open to the public for the time being. Prevailing weather patterns make it likely that despite the heroic efforts of firefighters to contain it, it will grow even further. At this time, no people near these parks are at risk. All of this, however, is dwarfed the previously mentioned fire burning in Idaho near the border of Oregon. That fire is 50,000 acres (20,324 hectares). It is only about 10% contained.