The forceful return of the “Windsor Hum” has a local city councillor demanding Ottawa exert some cross-border pressure on the U.S. city it’s coming from.
Residents living in and around Windsor, Ontario first reported hearing an airborne, low-frequency hum in February of 2011.
Windsor city councillor Al Maghnieh says the noise peaked last year before subsiding in recent months.
But that changed last week, when the noise returned.
Although Maghnieh says the sound is usually intermittent and sporadic, it can sometimes sound for extended periods that are next-to-impossible to ignore.
“Imagine you were in your car and there was a song that had a low bass, and you look in the mirror and see a little bit of a vibration,” Maghnieh told CTV News Channel, explaining what it’s like to experience the so-called “Windsor Hum.”
“It can cause a lot of things to rattle from time to time. It’s quite annoying, especially in the middle of the night.”
Others agree, Maghnieh said, describing the barrage of messages he’s received since the hum’s noisy return last week.
“Since last Thursday until now I’ve received — between calls, Twitter and Facebook messages — about a thousand complaints,” he said. “That’s the kind of number that was (also) received by the Ministry of the Environment.”
An investigation conducted by Natural Resources Canada last year narrowed the source of the noise to a one-square kilometre area of the heavily industrialized Zug Island in the Michigan municipality of River Rouge.
Officials said further study would be needed to pinpoint the exact source of the noise, when they went public with results of the seismic investigation last year.
According to Maghnieh, while the mayor of River Rouge was initially keen to address the cross-border complaints, the municipality has fallen silent since Natural Resources reported its findings.
“People don’t deserve that and we deserve some answers,” he said.
Maghnieh said Windsor-Essex Conservative MP Jeff Watson has been reaching out to U.S. lawmakers on the issue.
But considering the level of cross-border co-operation on a host of other issues, from bridge-building to border security, Maghnieh said he’d like to see Ottawa bring more pressure to bear.
“I think we just need to build on that great relationship we have with our American counterparts and push this forward,” he said.