An unexplained rumbling disturbed hundreds of Windsor, Ont., residents this weekend to the extent that some thought it was an earthquake, prompting calls for Ottawa to step in.
City Coun. Al Maghnieh said he was inundated with telephone calls, emails and Facebook messages this weekend after the so-called “hum” returned, louder than ever.
“Between the sound and the vibration, it was just very, very bad,” Maghnieh said. “A lot of people are frustrated and to a point … demoralized.”
Residents across Windsor and neighbouring LaSalle began reporting a noise they describe as similar to an idling train or semi-trailer in February 2011.
Maghnieh said a “low-frequency rumble” seemed to peak early Sunday morning, calling it “really harsh.”
He wasn’t alone in this complaint.
“It was a rocking weekend. We actually thought an earthquake was happening,” said Gary Grosse, administrator for the Windsor-Essex County Hum Facebook group.
There are approximately 800 members on Grosse’s Facebook page, and he said he’s aware of several more people who haven’t come forward for fear of lowering their property values if they identify themselves as living within earshot of the hum.
“We need help and closure to put an end to this problem,” Maghnieh said.
Seismic testing conducted by Natural Resources Canada last summer pinpointed a one-square kilometre area of Zug Island in River Rouge, Mich.
Grosse is now encouraging people to call the corporate headquarters of several steel companies with facilities on Zug Island.
“Don’t be quiet. Don’t be silent about the issue. You’re not alone. Only through numbers can we get the issue resolved,” Grosse said.
Maghnieh said Ottawa needs to continue the investigation because the noise it is affecting the quality of life on the Canadian side of the border.
“We’re hoping the federal government will step up because in that report it said that another investigation is necessary to establish the source now that they have the location on Zug Island,” Maghnieh said.
Some people claim the noise makes them sick and others say it keeps them awake at night, he said.
Government officials and a consultant hired by the City of River Rouge admit the rumbles and vibrations are an airborne sound wave originating from the general vicinity of Zug Island, home to several industries..
However, the City of River Rouge announced in November that it does not want to spend any more money to continue its investigation to track down the exact origin of the sound.
“If this is a matter of jurisdiction, I’m sure we can work the cross-border channels,” Maghnieh said.