How B.C.’s string of natural disasters are connected

A town built on resilience learns to diversify

In the first of five visits to this year’s Agricultural Town of the Year finalists, Belinda Willis introduces the people who help make the Mid-North town of Orroroo so special.

Goyder’s Line splits Orroroo farmers between higher and lower rainfall land, but the division does not reflect an innate sense of togetherness in this boom-and-bust landscape.

It’s a sink or swim environment here, the people in this community don’t readily give up.

“We endure through tough times with best practice, and we bounce back and prosper when seasonal conditions are in our favour,” Mayor Kathie Bowman says.

Today, blue ribbons and blue butterflies are wrapped around trees lining the main street as the town of just over 900 people acknowledges the toll one of the most severe droughts in the region’s history is taking on the locals’ mental health.

Former Livestock SA president and current national wild dog action plan chair Geoff Power, who farms sheep on land north of Goyder’s Line, describes how locals deal with adversity best.

“Why would I live anywhere else? The district has been brilliant, the whole district has been good to us … my eldest daughter had muscular dystrophy and died at 28, we received a lot of support, the school put in ramps and gave her opportunities,” he says…READ ON

Deadly floods in Egypt destroy homes and flush out deadly scorpions

In the Southern region of Egypt, locals in the Aswan province are still counting losses from the floods that took place last weekend. Four people were later reported dead and over 500 were hospitalized after suffering scorpion stings due to the floods.

Some of the families said they lost everything from the flood incidents

“There are many things buried under the mud such as my bed, my air conditioning, and all my things now under the mud,” said Souad Selim Ali, a resident in Aswan.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health said the four people died when their homes collapsed in the rain and hailstones. A total of 106 houses were washed away and more than 300 partially damaged, according to the area mayor…READ ON

How B.C.’s string of natural disasters are connected

The two-lane highway between the B.C. communities of Lillooet and Pemberton is a notorious mountain pass: a ribbon of curves and switchbacks often littered with rocks and other debris dislodged from steep slopes. It’s a cellphone dead zone.

MURAT YÜKSELIR / THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN; OPENSTREETMAP CONTRIBUTORS; DRIVEBC; NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY

Driving was slow going late Monday morning, with motorists navigating rain, slush, snow and debris on this stretch of Highway 99, known as Duffey Lake Road. About 40 kilometres south of Lillooet, traffic hit a standstill. A mix of mud, shale, and busted trees cut across the highway, stranding dozens of motorists.

Among them was Jukka Tuisku, who was returning home to Vancouver with two friends after a weekend trip to Lillooet. They peered out at the destruction, until one friend said Mr. Tuisku’s name with the kind of urgency that indicates serious trouble. A second landslide was barrelling down the mountain. At first, it sounded like something scraping on gravel. Then, a river of muck roared in, shoving vehicles and people off the highway. Two car lengths separated Mr. Tuisku from the slide…READ ON

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