Calgary hailstorm caused $1.2B in damage, 4th costliest natural disaster in Canada’s history

The hailstorm that hit Calgary on June 13 cost $1.2 billion in insured damages, making it the fourth costliest natural disaster in Canada’s history, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

“Our thoughts are with those affected by this devastating storm, and we are here to help Albertans fix their homes, cars and businesses,” said Celyeste Power, western vice-president of the bureau, in a release on Wednesday.

The storm hit northeast Calgary, Airdrie and Rocky View County hardest.

It damaged at least 35,000 homes and vehicles, and destroyed entire crops, as hailstones the size of tennis balls fell at 80 to 100 km/h.

The provincial government announced financial support for residents who experienced overland flooding, as overland flooding insurance is often not available in flood-prone areas.

But residents in northeast Calgary have said that’s not enough, and have called on the province to declare the storm a natural disaster, which would allow them to access relief funds. 

Many residents in that quadrant of the city are immigrants to Canada, and many were already facing financial hardships tied to the pandemic and oil price crash.

6 of Canada’s 10 costliest disasters have hit Alberta

Six of the 10 costliest natural disasters in Canada’s history have hit Alberta, Power said. 

The most expensive on record was the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, which cost nearly $4 billion. The next highest was the 2013 flooding that put downtown Calgary and much of southern Alberta under water, at a cost of $3.5 billion.

Calgary residents are cleaning up after a massive storm flooded its streets, while baseball-sized hail damaged cars and homes, and at least one tornado touched down outside the city. 2:03

The Insurance Bureau of Canada said it has deployed its mobile assistance unit to help people in the region access insurance information.

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