Natural Resources Canada is sending in seismic monitoring equipment following recent complaints about mysterious rumblings and vibrations in Windsor and Essex County.
“We reached out to NRC because they have the equipment,” said Teri Gilbert, issues project co-ordinator for the local Ontario Environment Ministry office. “They have agreed to provide assistance to us.
The equipment will be deployed this week in the latest bid to identify the source of rumblings that have disturbed dozens of area residents.
The ministry has identified four locations within the city where the seismic monitors will be set up.
“We reviewed all the data (from residents’ complaints) and determined those to be ideal locations for data review,” said Gilbert, who did not identify the locations.
The equipment will run on a 24-hour basis for three weeks to measure any vibrations or rumblings, she said.
“We will then review the data and determine next steps at that time,” Gilbert said.
Between the end of March and early May, the ministry received more than 120 official complaints connected to the rumblings. Since that time, another 30 complaints have been registered.
Theories of what was behind the rumblings included activity related to the salt mines, Zug Island, wind turbines, big rig trucks, freight trains, lake freighters or planes landing and taking off from Detroit’s Metro Airport.
The Environment Ministry in May ended a month-long investigation with the conclusion that no industrial sources were causing the vibrations. It suspended any further look into the issue unless other government agencies chose to get involved.
Windsor lawyer David Robins, who lives in South Windsor, is among those to recently experience vibrations and noise. He wrote emails to federal and provincial government officials requesting the seismic monitoring equipment to get a handle on the source.
“I’m delighted that NRC will facilitate the investigation,” he said. “I hope it results in identification of the source and noise. My only concern is they place the measuring equipment in appropriate places to ensure monitoring is most effective.”
Robins described noise outside his home as similar to that of a loud idling truck.
“The first few times I heard it, I thought that’s what was going on,” he said. “But when it persisted for more than 30 minutes, I went out to look and it wasn’t a truck.”
Frustrated by the Environment Ministry’s bid to end its investigation, Robins began contacting other government officials a couple of weeks ago requesting another look.
The decision by NRC to get involved delighted west end resident Sonya Skillings, who was among the first to publicly complain about the noise which she and her husband have experienced at their home in the 3800 block of Poplar Avenue, just east of Windsor Regional Hospital’s Western Campus.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” she said Tuesday. “At least it feels like someone is listening to us. I’m glad (Robins) got involved. Hopefully this will help move it forward to find an answer. That would be great because it’s still happening.”
Peter Piruzza, who lives in LaSalle near Todd Lane, said he believes the rumblings could be atmospheric and related to wet weather or possibly caused by truck traffic in his area.
“I can really hear it in the garage and in the evening times when it’s more quiet,” he said. “My wife was the first to wonder what the sound is. We thought it might be the freezer in the basement, but checked and it wasn’t that. I’m glad someone is going to look into this.”
Gilbert is encouraging residents to continue to log the rumblings and call the local ministry office during normal business hours at 519-948-1464.
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