IBC: Ontario thaw led to more than $70 million in insured damage

According to a new release from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), Ontario saw more than $70 million in insured damage after winter conditions gave way to sudden temperature increases.


In February, the province saw a deep freeze, but it was quickly followed by warm weather and rain. The sudden shift in weather led to snowmelt, ice jams, and flooding, IBC noted.

On February 04, the temperature increased by a record-breaking 10-15°C, which caused significant snowmelt in southern Ontario. That evening also saw 20-40 centimetres of snow fall on northern Ontario, as well as freezing rain and drizzle from Sault Ste. Marie to Ottawa. Rain also fell across southern Ontario that day. Water-related damage reports surged around this time, including for basement leakage, sewer backups, and burst pipes. This event alone cost $33 million in insured damage.

Southwestern Ontario saw strong winds and warm temperatures on March 09, but also experienced rain and even freezing rain in some parts. Snow in Ottawa transitioned to rain and then drizzle all on the same day, while 80-100 km/h gusts were recorded in Windsor and Prince Edward County. Heavy rain and snowmelt led to many reports of flooding and water damage throughout southern Ontario. Total insured damage for the event was close to $37 million.

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