Ice Storm of 1998

Essay by thegreatalifagJunior High, 9th gradeA+, March 2007

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The Ice Storm of 1998 was the worst ice storm in Canadian history. It was the most costly natural disaster in Canada ever and Environmental Canada concluded that this weather disaster affected more people than any other previous weather event in Canadian history26. The storm had formed on January 5th, 1998 and dissipated January 10th, 199821. This storm was a combination of meteorological events, specifically moist warm air from the Gulf of Mexico that flowed in the direction of North East and rised above the cold Artic air from the Hudson’s Bay which occurred over eastern Ontario and western Quebec. It spread through upstate New York, into parts of New England and the Maritimes. These conditions produced extended periods of super cooled rain across the area, which froze on contact, producing extensive damage to infrastructure and trees22. Greatly affected areas by the Ice Storm in Canada were Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia21.

The storm characteristic were that it was a cyclonic system and precipitation form in mixed ice, snow, and rain that fell heavily21. Total amount of precipitation exceeded 85mm in Ottawa, 73mm in Kingston and 100mm in Montreal22. With these factors, the temperature (with wind-chill) reached chilling temperatures approximately 40 degrees Celsius20. The Canadian government, businesses and citizens were inadequately prepared for the Ice Storm of 1998.

The government of Canada was disorganized when the Ice Storm of ‘98 had affected millions of Canadians and the lives distressed by the disaster were liable to the government. Premier Lucien Bouchard for example, announced giving relief cheques of $70 but the cheques were hard to convert to cash due to closed and overcrowded banks15. Lucien Bouchard should have given food or other grocery items instead of cheques that were hard to cash because that was the requirement...