Emergency crews are trying desperately to reach the 18,000 people stranded by landslides and flooding in western Canada following torrential rainstorms that have caused catastrophic damage across British Columbia. One person has been confirmed dead, but officials are nearly certain that number will rise in the coming days. Landslides have also blocked access to the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest port, causing worries of shortages and price spikes in both Canada and the U.S.
Abbotsford, BC smashed its single-day rainfall record on Sunday with nearly four inches in 24 hours, 140 days after it set its all-time high temperature record. Farmers there ignored evacuation orders and used jet skis to save their livestock, but thousands of cattle still drowned. Climate change, caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels is fueling heatwaves and extreme precipitation events, increasing the potential for “weather whiplash.” The flooding is exacerbated by wildfires — like those that incinerated the whole town of Lytton, BC, about 125 miles north-northeast of Abbotsford, in June — that, along with clearcutting, undermine soil stability, increasing erosion and leading to overflowing creeks and streams.
Camp Hope has served as a temporary home for Lytton residents and members of Lytton First Nation, and this week welcomed an additional 300 people displaced by the impacts of climate change. (The Guardian, Reuters, The Guardian, AP, Axios, Al Jazeera, AP; Whiplash: (Washington Post $, CNN; Camp Hope: Toronto Star; Supply chain: Washington Post $, CBC; Climate signals background: Flooding, Extreme precipitation increase, Wildfires)