What Hurricane Harvey-level floods would look like in a Canadian city
Record-shattering rains continue to hammer parts of Texas after Hurricane Harvey swept through the region over the weekend. The rain is creating devastating and life-threatening flooding in Houston, and experts say it may only get worse.
Some areas in Texas have received over 1,000 millimetres of rain since the hurricane hit Friday, according to the National Weather Network — and that amount could reach 1,270 mm by the end of the week. This amount is more than the average rainfall Houston gets in a year.
If this amount of rainfall were to happen in a major Canadian city — like Calgary and Toronto — what exactly would look it look like?
Please note heavy rain alone can cause flooding but there are other factors that contribute to flooding such as soil moisture and a city’s elevation.
Toronto’s annual rainfall averages around 681.6 mm, according to Environment Canada. But that is over a span of 365 days.
According to Mashable, by the time Hurricane Harvey moves on, Texas could have a total of 19-21 trillion gallons of water fall from the storm — 15 gallons have already fallen. If you dumped that across Toronto, it would look roughly like this:
The amount of flooding Hurricane Harvey is causing is 10 times worse than Toronto’s 2013 record-breaking rainfall.
In June 2013, the Toronto Pearson Airport reported 126 mm of rain fell during a three-hour thunderstorm and downtown Toronto was hit with 97 mm of rain. There were widespread power outages, cars were stranded and the subway service was temporarily halted.
In June 2013, Alberta was hit with a historic flood. Calgary residents were forced to flee their homes after heavy rainfall triggered devastating floods. Over 200 mm of rain fell over southern Alberta in less than two days, and the town of Canmore had more than 230 mm of rain in 36 hours.
WATCH: Video from Calgary flood in June 2013
Twenty-six communities were placed under a mandatory evacuation order, one Calgarian died, more than 2,000 troops were deployed to help and the flood caused around $500 million damage to city-owned properties and infrastructure.
This disaster happened with more than 200 mm of rain, a number still well below what is expected to hit Houston.
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