“In one house, we put a glass of water on the floor and you could see the ripples,” city Councillor Al Maghnieh told the Star on Thursday. “You could put your hand on the siding outside the house and feel the vibration.”
From a few complaints in February, Maghnieh has now heard from 1,000 people in his ward in the south and west of the city — including his own neighbours on Everts Ave. The worst time for the rumblings is between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.
“These are not people looking for attention. They’re reporting sleepless nights.”
The provincial Ministry of Environment investigated in April and found no “industrial” causes. That would include the prime suspect, a vast web of active and abandoned salt mines that stretch under Windsor and across the Detroit River to subterranean Detroit.
The Detroit Salt Co. still operates mines 360 metres below the city, supported by a 160-kilometre network of roads.
|Detroit Salt Mine|
Blasting, officials said, is confined to weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Detroit Salt’s George Davis said that, unlike the Ojibway mine, the Detroit miners no longer use drilling and blasting and their second shift ends by early evening.
People in Detroit have reported similar unexplained shaking and humming, Kate Jordan of the Ministry of the Environment said Thursday.
“We want to find the source of the vibrations,” she said. “We’re working with other provincial agencies and our counterparts in Michigan. We haven’t found any evidence in Ontario.”
The Ministry of the Environment ruled out the salt mines on the Ontario side because “their operations are not coinciding with the times people are feeling these” vibrations, Teri Gilbert, issues project co-ordinator for the Windsor office, told the Windsor Star in the spring.
Wind turbines also have been struck off the list, said Earthquake Canada's Allison Bent, because they’re in a rural area outside of town. These unexplained sounds and shaking are concentrated in west Windsor
Earthquake Canada sunk five ultra-sensitive seismic monitors around the city in June and seismologists are just getting the data back now for analysis.
“Enough people have heard it that is has to be something,” said Bent, a seismologist. “It can last on and off for hours.”
The shaking “is definitely not” an earthquake, she said. They would have picked that up even before June.
The federal monitors, however, will only pick up underground disturbances. If it’s above ground, she said, they might not.
Maghnieh speculated that construction of a major roadway linking Highway 401 directly with U.S. Interstate 75 and creating a new border crossing could be the source or the heavy industry operating on Zug Island, a heavily industrialized area south of Detroit.
|Toronto Architect Scott Weir|
He was dubious about Zug Island south of Detroit and across the river from Ojibway. “You can see what’s going on there.”
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