Windsor

Wildfires, heatwave and flooding among Canada's top weather stories for 2017

Raging wildfires that scorched 1.2 million hectares of land in British Columbia, a heatwave across parts of the prairies and widespread flooding in Ontario and Quebec topped Environment Canada's list of the Top 10 Weather Stories for 2017.

Flooding lands Windsor-Essex on top 10 list for second year in a row

More than 5,000 basements flooded in the City of Windsor during heavy rainfalls at the end of August.

Raging wildfires that scorched 1.2 million hectares of land in British Columbia, a heatwave across parts of the prairies and widespread flooding in Ontario and Quebec topped Environment Canada's list of the Top 10 Weather Stories for 2017.

At the top of the list was the dry summer in B.C. that led to the longest and "most disastrous" fire season in the province's history.

Full-time positions have been created throughout B.C.'s interior to manage relief efforts and communication after this summer's wildfires tore through the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

The BC Wildfire Service reported 1,265 fires forced an estimated 50,000 British Columbians from their homes and lead to a province-wide sate of emergency — the first in 15 years.

The brush, grass and woodlands burned up by the fires was about twice the size of P.E.I. and the cost of fighting them exceeded half a billion dollars, according to Environment Canada.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District covers Ashcroft, B.C. and surrounding areas. Here, Nevaeh Porter, 8, looks at the remains of her home where she lived with her family. Her home was destroyed by wildfire on the Ashcroft First Nation, near Ashcroft, B.C. in July 2017. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Here's the complete list of Canada's Top 10 Weather Stories for 2017:

  • British Columbia's longest and most destructive wildfire season
  • Dry and hot in the West
  • Spring flooding in Quebec and Ontario
  • British Columbia's cold and snowy winter
  • Another Windsor flood: two storms of the century in a year
  • Central Canada's missing summer
  • A new storm of the century
  • Summer in September
  • Newfoundland's Brier blast
  • New Brunswick's glaze storm

Prairie heatwave

Record-breaking heat in Canada's west led to the driest summer in 70 years, the government agency stated — the average temperature in Calgary between May and August was 16.4 C — the warmest since 1881.

The heatwave caused the number of visitors to outdoor attractions to lag and the heated water caused problems for fish.

A group of students enjoying some beverages by the Elbow River in Calgary. (Erin Collins/CBC)

"The only positive outcome from the persistent dry heat was a reduction in mosquitoes," according to the list.

Flooding causes millions in damage

Spring flooding in Quebec and Ontario also damaged thousands of homes. The Insurance Bureau in of Canada reported 15,750 claims and $223 million in property damage following record rains in Quebec and Eastern Ontario.

Windsor and surrounding Essex County was also doused, surviving the second "storm of the season in a year" and finishing fifth on the annual list for rains that ruined basements and caused financial losses across the region.

Selections from the tour over Gatineau, Ottawa and Rockland. 0:52

More than 6,000 homes were swamped in Windsor alone, while hundreds of basements in the Essex County towns of Lakeshore, Tecumseh and LaSalle were also hit.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs activated disaster relief once the flood waters receded, but months later many residents are still waiting for their lives to return to normal.

Second storm in a year

The top five finish marks the second consecutive year flooding has landed Windsor on the list.

A record-breaking downpour that doused Windsor and Tecumseh in September 2016 and led to more than $100 million in insurance claims earned the number 10 spot last year.

Flooding leads to state of emergency in Windsor, Tecumseh, Ont. 0:44