The impact of Hurricane Irma in Miami, FL, USA, 10 Sept 2017 (AP)
Irma was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm today after slamming Florida with destructive wind, heavy rain, flash flooding, high storm surges and even tornadoes.
Irma, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, made landfall over the Florida Keys on Sunday before coming ashore near Naples and then heading up the state’s west coast.
Miami was not in the storm’s direct path but was still battered by strong winds which swayed high rise buildings, brought down three construction cranes and downtown streets were swamped.
In northeast Florida, Jacksonville had historic flooding after the swollen St. Johns River spilled its banks and officials said dangerous conditions were expected for several days.
Prior to arriving in the United States, Irma claimed 10 lives in Cuba according to state media after battering Havana and tourist resorts such as Varadero and Cayo Coco where the international airport was destroyed.
Floodwaters surround homes and vehicles in east Houston, Texas, USA, 28 Aug 2017 (Reuters)
Tropical Storm Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical depression but not before creating a new weather record in the United States.
Climatologists say Harvey is the worst rainfall event ever with 1318 mm (51.88 inches) of rain recorded at Cedar Bayou, Texas beating the previous mark of 1219 mm (48 inches) in Medina, Texas from Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978.
Thousands of residents could still be stranded and an estimated 40,000 homes have been destroyed by the storm in the Houston area.
Heavy rain is now moving over Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee with some areas expecting more than 200 mm.
Floodwaters inundate a neighbourhood in Houston, TX, USA, 28 Aug 2017 (Getty Images)
More than 3,500 residents of Houston have been rescued since Tropical Storm Harvey began pounding southeastern Texas with more than 750 mm of rain and counting.
Tens of thousands displaced from their homes are being housed at evacuation centres which are now overcapacity forcing many to sleep in chairs or on the floor.
Officials began releasing water from two Houston reservoirs on Monday in order to prevent uncontrollable flooding in the downtown area.
Houston’s two main airports have been closed since their runways are completely underwater.
The Texas Gulf Coast is a key centre of the American oil and gas industry with some of the largest refineries in the United States halting operations.
Flooding in Buffalo Bayou Park, Houston, TX, USA, 27 Aug 2017 (Twitter)
Harvey may have been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved inland over Texas but the U.S. National Weather Service stated “this event is unprecedented and all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced.”
Forecasters say the Houston metropolitan area could receive more than 1000 mm of rain from the storm over the next few days which has claimed at least five lives.
By early today, more than 600 mm had fallen in America’s fourth largest city overwhelming lakes and rivers forcing thousands of residents scrambling into boats or onto rooftops to safety.
Tornado warnings have been lifted but a flash flood warning remains in place for much of southeastern Texas.
A stream overflows in north end Sydney, NS, 11 May 2017 (Cape Breton Post)
Parts of Cape Breton Island were flooded by a deluge of rain barely six months ago – Thanksgiving weekend – and this week it’s happening again.
The ground is saturated with water after more than 160 mm of rain since the weekend and some Sydney residents are dealing with flooded basements.
Rain and snow melt from the Cape Breton highlands is being blamed for washouts along sections of the Cabot Trail and its side roads.
Road crews are working overtime making repairs before the busy tourism season begins in a few weeks.
Flooding along the St. John River, Fredericton, NB, 07 May 2017 (Instagram)
Much of New Brunswick was spared the worst of a low pressure system which delivered heavy rain and created flooding over the weekend especially along the St. John River.
Environment Canada says the extreme southern half of the province had the most rain with more than 100 mm in some areas and unofficially almost 180 mm (about two months worth) fell in Mechanic Settlement, near Fundy National Park.
Moncton got off relatively easy with 40 mm of rain while Saint John had 70 mm and Fredericton reported 80 mm.
The Emergency Measures Organization says water levels should remain high but steady for the rest of this week with more rain on the way.
Flooding in Gatineau, Quebec, 06 May 2017 (Instagram)
Days of rainy weather in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario have taken a toll on the region and Canadian soldiers have been asked to help.
High water levels have threatened hundreds of homes and at least 700 residents have been evacuated.
Ile-Bizard, west of Montreal, has been especially hard hit with sand bags helping to keep back rising water in some areas.
In New Brunswick, a low pressure system could bring 50-100 mm of rain to western areas of the province where rivers are already full of water this weekend.
Parlee Beach, NB, 30 April 2017 (Dearing)
I was grateful to soak up some sunshine this evening since clouds and rain are expected this weekend in New Brunswick.
Environment Canada says a low pressure system from the Great Lakes will bring a prolonged period of rain to the province.
Highest amounts could fall in the southwest with up to 100 mm and possibly 50 mm for Greater Moncton.
The emergency measures organization is warning residents living near the St. John River and its tributaries to be on alert for flooding.
Ice jam on Middle River causes flooding, 16 April 2016 (NB-EMO)
Emergency measures officials with River Watch in New Brunswick are closely monitoring the St. John River and say the only area currently above flood stage is near Jemseg.
Even with rain being forecasted by Environment Canada, water levels are expected to remain below flood stage for the rest of the week.
So far this spring, it has been relatively quiet along flood-prone areas of the St. John River system.
Along the Middle River, south of Bathurst, an ice jam created localized flooding and forced a road closure but water levels are receding.
Snow finally melting in NE Moncton, 05 April 2017 (Dearing)
Good news… spring may finally be arriving!
Environment Canada says the recent winter-like grip over Southeast New Brunswick will finally give way to milder temperatures and rain beginning later this week.
Temperatures will finally climb into the double digits Celsius by Friday for the first time since 01 March!
Localized flooding is possible over ground which may still be frozen and in areas with a significant snow cover.
Another sign of a change in seasons is the return of many migratory birds in Greater Moncton this week with chirping sounds not heard in months.