Two rounds of storms in September did a combined total of $105 million in insured damages across southern Ontario, according to new estimates released this week by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
One set of storms on September 7th included heavy rain, powerful winds, and several tornadoes. In all, multiple homes and other structures were damaged, and around 30,000 outages reported.
The Western University-based Northern Tornadoes Project later confirmed five tornadoes from that day across southwestern Ontario and parts of the northern Greater Toronto Area, including two EF-2 tornadoes in the Harrison-Kenilworth and Kingsbridge–Lucknow areas. The storms left 30,000 power outages in their wake.
Another round of storms on September 22nd featured strong winds that were a factor in some 38,000 power outages. Heavy rains that day also triggered localized flash flooding and set single-day records, including in London, where the rains caused sewage systems to overflow, sending millions of litres of untreated sewage into the Thames.
Individual severe storms cannot be attributed to climate change, but data show that such storms are becoming more frequent, and more intense, across Canada as climate change continues apace.
The IBC says governments need to do more to invest in climate adaptation and resilience.
"Canada must develop a comprehensive plan to close governance gaps and improve climate defence overall, including enhancements to the current building code to protect against severe wind events," the IBC said in a release. "IBC is committed to working closely with the private sector and governments to improve Canada's preparedness for and resilience to severe weather events."