Severe weather batters Europe, Canada

The United States is experiencing it’s own catastrophes this year. Growing wildfires and drought in the west, with flash floods in the southeast, along with heatwaves in the north. A lot of the worst weather in the world seems to afflict the United States in an outsized fashion, but it seems that is not the case in recent weeks.

First is the story of flooding in central Europe. Relentless and heavy rains have been hammering Benelux and western Germany, leading to river flooding on the Rhine in Germany and the Meuse in Belgium in particular, with subsidiaries an other rivers also spilling out of their banks. The intensity of the rains also led to flash flooding in these areas, while the river flooding is continuing to disrupt lives, with the threat of disease adding onto threats to infrastructure and livelihood.

The flooding was the result of a stalled, training pattern of showers and thunderstorms that lasted for the better part of last week. The good news is that the flooding is going to be allowed to abate over the next week, at least. High pressure over the British Isles is going to drift toward the Low Countries and barricade them from additional rainfall for the week. The next real threat for showers and thunderstorms is next weekend, and we can all hope that the feature moves as quickly as the models presently suggest.

A bit closer to home, tornadoes are in the news. The US has had an incredible string of good fortune, in that there were no tornadoes stronger than EF2 in May or June. Unfortunately, in Barrie, Canada, the tornado news was worse. A tornado – measuring at an EF2 – struck residential parts of the community, taking roofs off of houses, but fortunately, doing structural damage and sparing the residents of the houses it hit.

Listen to the tale of Natalie Harris, a City Councilor in Barrie, who saw significant damage to her home during the twister on Thursday.

The greatest damage was to the far southeastern part of town. The damage would surely have been more significant if it had been just a couple miles to the north.

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