Dwarfed by Turbines

Dwarfed by Turbines

Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 31 - It's all in my head

It's all in my head - and I am being literal! I have had the worst headache all day and it is not getting better. I tried Extra Strength Tylenol, that didn't work. I tried eating, water, and a nap. Nothing worked. Now as I sit here finishing up my work for month end my ears are really quite painful. I feel a pressure just at that little flap in the ears. It feels a bit like when you are on a plane just before your ears pop and you get that pressure, except it's more like when I flew with a cold and it is actually painful.....If anyone can offer assistance or home rememdies for headaches (specifically ones that are likely from low frequency noise), I would love to hear from you. Thanks... Nik

May 31st - Beep, Beep, Beep

Last night was extremely windy. So much so that we did not really notice the turbine sound too much. About two in the morning, we were awakened though by a beep,beep,beep alarm sound. Doesn't it just figure that on a night when we were actually sleeping the sound testing equipment alarm went off due to "high wind warning". We unplugged it, it still beeped. We tried pushing buttons, still the beeping. Finally we took out the back up batteries and sileneced it. The testing was finished on Saturday, so the recorder is full anyway. Did I mention that we were being taped for a couple of weeks? Well, not us specifically, but the sound of the windturbines in our home. A rather large microphone set in my office recorded automatically at different intervals, and a button attached to it allowed us to record when we found the turbines to be especially loud. I must say, it was a strange feeling to know that at any time our activities could be being recorded. A little unsettling to know that we are being "listened to".
As for today, my headache is back. My throat again feels like my glands are swollen. The last time my throat was bad like this, I saw my family doctor and she could find nothing wrong. If it continues, I guess I will go back and see her again, but I have a feeling I know what she will say. So the front of my forehead is pounding as I sit here, and my throat is very sore. My eyes are still bright red. But y'know, I feel pretty lucky as I sit here listening to the kids play downstairs. Could be worse I guess. One thing I am very thankful for is that I don't have to deal with the 'rash'. My husband said he scratched all night when I asked him why he had red scratches all over his chest, arms and back. He has had a mysterious itchy rash for months. We tried changing detergents, soaps, everything we could think might be causing it. Only recently, when I was contacted by another wind turbine sufferer as a result of my name in the paper did we realize the rash could be related as well. The woman who called me has suffered from a similar rash and when I listed to her describe it I thought about my husband immediately. My youngest son also has an excema like rash on the back of his hand and arm. He complained excessively this morning as well and in the night that he was itchy.
This is why this blog and information in the media is so important. I believe there are a lot more people out there being affected who have not yet made the connection and figured out what the cause of their issues really is. Of course I am not saying the mere sound of the turbines causes the rash, but what about the unknown factors - the low frequency noises, the vibrations, the effect on our bodies from lack of sleep and inner ear issues (often one part of the body affects another), or even what I have heard described as "dirty electricity". If we are being exposed to any of these, we would not know it. This is why it is so important to conduct studies and find out exactly what the effects of the wind turbines are. How can it be possible that so many people all over the world can have the same symptoms and have never spoken to one another?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 30, 2009 - Ramblings of a three year old

This morning I felt pretty good. I think we had a storm last night, but I did not notice the wind turbines and actually dreamt. For me, dreaming is a big deal and I really miss waking up knowing I dreamt and feeling rested. Something odd happened though. My three year old woke up crying and said his legs hurt. When I asked what was wrong he said "my legs are bleeding". He cried for about 5 or 10 minutes and then he was fine. Since I wake up sometimes with numbness in my hands and a pressure on my wrists, I have to wonder if that is what he was feeling in his little legs, or if it was just the active imagination of a three year old. I wish there was a way to montior the wind/weather easier so that I could determine the link between the wind turbines and the kids. With the trees having leaves now, it is more difficult to just look out the window and see whether they are turning or not. I am holding out hope that he was just stiff and perhaps grumpy. He's three, so it's hard to get a conclusive answer. I want to believe that it is not related, but lately, it just seems like everything points to the effects of wind turbines. So, the rest of us had a pretty good night, but not sure about him. He seemed fine the rest of the day. Side note: I did wake up with my eyes puffy and sealed shut by "sleep", but I think that had something to do with my contacts yesterday and not the windmills.....guess we need to consider everything if this diary is going to help others.
Yesterday I was contacted by a woman who shares the same "rash" issues we have been having and she believes it is from the wind turbines also. It's so sad to hear that others are going through the same things and yet the wind energy companies refuse to see there may be a link.
Wishing everyone well, and hoping for a restful night.

Friday, May 29, 2009

May 2009 - Letter to the Editor, sent to several local publications

Have you visited the wind turbines out near Dealtown (Blenheim, HWY 3)? They are truly amazing, beautiful and futuristic....Green energy is the way of the future, but at what cost? My family and I live close to the existing wind turbines and are suffering because of it. Promised to be quiet and unobtrusive, the wind turbines are in fact, the opposite. Sleep disturbances, headaches, ear ringing, nauseau and fatigue are a handful of the symptoms we are experiencing. We have expressed our concerns to Kruger energy and to the municipality of CK. They say they are working towards investigation and solutions, however, there are other proposed wind farms going ahead in the meantime. There is a large amount of information on the web regarding Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS), and activists trying to appeal to govt's to stop erecting wind farms until the effects on people and animals are further studied. As I think about the years and years, and the many illnesses and deaths that had to occur before government finally started acting on the effects of tobacco, I can't help but wonder how many people will needlessly suffer in the name of creating 'green' energy and bringing dollars into the community. I am most worried about the unknown effects of these metal giants on our beautiful children's growing, forming minds and bodies. I hope the community and it's representatives will be proactive and slow down the wind farm installations. Let's study what we have now and keep in mind that almost any good thing in excess can become a negative. How many wind turbines are too many? The answer: one - if it is too close to homes and affecting the health of our children, friends and neighbors.

May 2009 - Letter to municipalilty re mtg June 15th

To: Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Community Development and Planning Services
c/o Elinor Mifflin (elinorm@chatham-kent.ca)

RE: Notice of public meeting to consider proposed zoning by Invenergy Wind Canada ULC to the Raleigh Wind Energy Centre – meeting date June 15, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

Please be advised that we plan to attend the meeting on the 15th and would like to speak at the meeting. We have great concerns we would like to express regarding the erection of further wind turbines.


We live 600 meters from the closest current wind turbine and have three or four others very close to our home (none are on our property). Although we initially had no issues with the use of this type of green energy, we are now finding that they are not quiet and unobtrusive as promised. We do not find the turbines to be an eyesore as they stand, and in fact consider them an enhancement to the view behind our property. We do find them to be very loud, and we have concerns that they are affecting our health. We have spoken to Kruger and the Municipality about our concerns.
(picture taken October 08 shows our home and the windmills behind it)

Our property is currently being monitored by Aercoustics Engineering Ltd hired by Kruger as a result of our complaints. It is my understanding that they are monitoring the sound levels of the wind turbines. They have also set up a high tech microphone in our home with a record button which we are able to activate when we are awakened or disturbed by the noise. The testing is ongoing so we do not yet have results. My concern is that I believe our issues come from several areas of concern generated by wind turbines including vibration, dirty electricity as well as noise. I am unsure whether this testing will be able to monitor all of those areas. As the leaves fell off of the trees, and the stronger winds of winter came, we found the turbines to be more and more disturbing. We can hear them often, even when we are inside of our home. Sometimes it is a sort of hum, and other times we can hear the “woosh, woosh” of the blades. It is a bit like living at an airport where the plane never takes off. When outside trying to enjoy our property, it is of course even louder. As we have several acres and my husband is a hunter, he found the windmills very disruptive and loud during hunting season. The shadow cast across the property is also very disturbing and gives one a “jumpy” feeling as the shadow “runs” across the corner of your eye when you are outside. These turbines are anything but silent, and when the wind blows from the West (the prevailing wind in this area), the windmills face our home and are at their loudest.

At night, there are also several lights that flash on and off. It is at night that the windmills become a problem ecstatically as when we sit in our main room, we can see 5 or 6 flashing lights consistently outside instead of the beautiful view of the stars and moon we have grown accustomed to.

We have lived on this property for over 5 years now and enjoy the peacefulness and tranquility that country living brings. We used to enjoy the sounds of birds, crickets and frogs, and now we hear the turbines.

My husband has experienced problems sleeping for several months now. When he is awakened in the night by the sound of the turbines or another noise, the sound gets into his head and he is unable to return to sleep. He has recently tried sleeping with a loud radio or television on and that seems to be helping a bit, however, I can not sleep with a radio or tv on so we are forced to sleep in different rooms.

I myself have had some issues over this past winter as well and only recently realized that they are likely also the result of improper rest. All of my life, I have been able fall asleep immediately, stay asleep and wake up feeling very rested. When awakened during the night I could easily fall back to sleep, even when my children were just babies and needed me several times in the night. I have always been a “pop my eyes open and start the day” type of person. I rarely experienced a headache unless I was ill with a cold or flu. Over these past winter months, I have found that I wake up feeling groggy and unrested. Some days to such a degree that when trying to get out of bed I actually feared that we had some type of CO leak or something in the house as my eyes felt so heavy and my body so tired. I have also experienced a few rare nights where I was awakened by something and could not fall back to sleep as I could hear the turbines and they also kept me awake. In fact, last night the wind was quite strong and I listened to the turbines from about 1am to 3:30 am. To understand, think of trying to sleep and a dog barking continuously outside and keeping you awake, it is a similar feeling of annoyance and disturbance. I have had more headaches and ill feeling days this past winter than I can remember ever having in my lifetime.

Further, I at times wake up and feel a bit dizzy, as if I have been on a rollercoaster or spinning quickly in circles. It is difficult to describe but when I shut my eyes, it is a bit like I am spinning. Sometimes, like this morning, it feels almost as if the room is vibrating when I wake in the morning. It takes a minute to realize that it is really my insides “vibrating”. This is very difficult to explain, but I believe it is my body falling into sync with the “woosh, woosh” vibration of the windmills. I have also noticed that my wrists become very sore over the course of the night and when I awake it feels as if pressure has been applied to them and my wrists are sore and achy, while my hands are a bit numb and achy. Recently we were away for a three day camping weekend and I was thrilled that we were all able to sleep through the night, and even by the second day began to feel rested and more like ourselves. The headache that I had been suffering went away by the second morning of being gone, however, within 1 day of being home, the headache returned.

I have noticed that my memory and even ability to continue with a task has been negatively affected to the extreme. This concerns me as I have always been able to retain large amounts of information and multi-task extremely affectively. I now find that I need to write things down, and in fact at times have found myself wondering what I was about to do or say as it completely leaves my mind. I am most worried about my youngest son, Wyatt who is 3 years old. Wyatt has been demonstrating some concerning symptoms. For example: Wyatt will become very upset with me for reasons such as not bringing his Teddy or his milk to him when asked. The fact is, he is holding the item as I brought it to him a few minutes before and not only does he have no recollection, I have to point out to him that it is in his hand at that moment. This is very upsetting. Note: I have tried to schedule an appointment with our local Pediatricians and the soonest appointment I could get in April was for July 6th so all we can do is wait to have him tested/examined.

Our house definitely vibrates as we have had items move their way to the edge of shelves and fall off. We have also had some issues with bees, wasps and flys finding there way into our home and I believe now that it is because the boards where their nests are on the outside walls of the house are vibrating causing them to seek a more stable surface by entering inside the walls of our home. Since my initial letter, I see that a bee keeper has come forward in the newspaper and talked about bees being extremely sensitive to vibration.

About 6 weeks ago, I made the connection that although I am not laying awake most nights, it is likely that I am not reaching a proper REM state of sleep during the night. I feel this could be the cause of my issues as well – headaches, nausea, feeling drained and tired all of the time, moodiness, not my usual self, mysterious aches and pains that seem to have no cause.

Although it is difficult to pinpoint behaviour in children as young as ours (3 and 5), because they are constantly growing and changing, I feel that they have become more whiny, short tempered and moody – similar to when they have not had enough rest, or are hungry, and it makes me wonder if their sleep is also being affected by the windmills. They have both asked on several occasions “what is that noise” and pulled at their ears – I am still not 100% sure what noise they were/are referring to, and only over this past winter, they have both developed a habit of hitting their heads with their hands....Obviously, I can not say for sure, but I am concerned of the effects windmills are having on their growing brains and bodies.

Recently our television, satellite dish and stereo which were all working fine stopped working for no apparent reason. They just “blew” causing us to have to replace them. We have neighbours in Dealtown who have also reported strange things happening with their electronics. We use Airnet internet service (satellite) and had no problems with it until this past winter. We now find that on windy days the service is up and down continually and we must keep reconnecting. There seems to be no explanation except the windmills are spinning when this happens. Recently our phones have also stopped working and we have noticed an increase in what I can only assume are “power surges” where our power flickers and our light bulbs burn out regularly, our neighbour has also stated that their light bulbs are needed to be replaced regularly.

Although I can not prove the link between things that are happening in our home conclusively, it seems that since the windmills were erected, and specifically since the leaves fell off of our trees, we are experiencing several health and mood related issues in our home. My husband can say without a doubt that it is the noise of the windmills keeping him awake, and we can all state that we can hear them almost all of the time both outside and inside of our home; especially of course at night when the house is at it’s quietest.

Since my name was mentioned in the local newspaper, I have rec’d several calls from other people who are having the same symptoms as my family. These people have commented that they were so happy to see my concerns as “they thought they were alone”. I believe stongly that there are many residents being affected by the Wind Turbines, some who likely have not yet made the connection. I also fear that as we become more sensitized to the affects that they will in fact worsen and that more and more people will come forward with health issues.

We fear that adding more windmills around us will increase the symptoms we are having and possibly affect other families in the community. We respectfully request that before going ahead with any further zoning of windmills that the municipality of Chatham-Kent conduct further research into the effects of residents in the communities that have them, including our own. There is a lot of information on the internet and many people who claim to have health problems due to wind turbines near their homes. In fact, some ( including Dr. Nina Pierpont, )refer to the illness as WTS – Wind Turbine Syndrome.

I hope that this letter will be taken seriously and that it helps council to realize that more research and questioning is needed before we turn Chatham-Kent into a community with serious health problems and risk the development of our children. The well-being of the residents of the community must be considered first and foremost even though the financial gains to the community may seem to be considerable by the erection of wind farms. Please ask yourselves, at what cost? Ask yourselves, would you be willing to put your own children at risk if there is a chance that wind turbines do in fact create sleep disturbances, headaches, mood disorder and slow early child development as I have recently read on the internet?

If this is truly the direction that Chatham-Kent should take, then devoting more time to research and planning is certainly worth an outcome that will include financial benefits without detriment to community health and happiness.

Thank you for your consideration. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

May 29, 2009, From the Beginning

It was about a year ago when the turbines were being erected behind our home on neighboring properties. We were not at all concerned as we had rec'd the information and been invited to the meetings and were told that wind turbines provide a great source of energy for the community and would be quiet and unobtrusive. The picture "dwarfed by turbines" was taken October 2008, not long after the turbines were up and functioning. I took the picture because I thought the turbines in the distance were a pretty picture. I had no idea at the time how they would affect our lives.
Since the turbines began operating, we have experienced several problems which are a result of the noise, and the vibration, and I believe dirty electricity coming from the wind turbines. I have filed complaints with the municipality of Chatham-Kent, and with Kruger wind energy. As a result, they have set up testing equipment to monitor our home to see if they can determine what noise and vibration we are actually living with and whether it is above the "acceptable standards". While I appreciate the effort, I have to wonder if the equipment can truly understand what it is like to "feel" the wind inside your head and body. At least it is a step in the right direction. My greatest concern is how quickly more and more wind turbine projects are being approved and built in the local area. Even though there are complaints and concerns, our city council continues to approve the projects. Why? I do not understand why they don't study the existing problems and look for solutions before going ahead with further projects and causing unnecessary suffering. I have written letters to council, letters to newspapers, and spoken to various people to say that this is a real concern and our family are real victims. From these letters, I have received several calls, including a man who brought this issue to the attention of council two years ago, another who spoke with council 1 year ago and brought a signed petitition which he says was disregarded, and a local woman whose family is suffering very similar effects at a nearby but different location. I will post those articles and letters, and my blog will move forward from hear detailing our symptoms and our progress with the local projects. IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING THE EFFECTS OF THE WIND TURBINES, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO LET THE MUNICIPALITY OF CHATHAM KENT KNOW ABOUT IT. AN INFORMED GOVERNMENT WILL BE ABLE TO MAKE BETTER DECISIONS ABOUT EVERYONE'S HEALTH AND WELFARE.

May 29, 2009 - Report on A Channel News

Today a reporter from A Channel News in Windsor did a story on us with regards to the Wind Turbines near our home. I just got a call from a friend who saw the story, but unfortunately we do not have that channel on our television and I have checked the A-Channel News Windsor and is not currently on the website....maybe it will be when today's news is finished running....not sure. I did find though under their "Special Reports" section a news story on Wind Turbines that I found interesting, and a little disheartening about a family who had to move out of their home. Honestly, the more I research and find out about the wind turbines, the more angry I get. I can not believe that we were told that "wind turbines are quiet" and "few problems have been reported with them". My hope is that by sharing our story and creating this blog, I will accomplish two goals: 1. To help others and let them know that they are not alone and that they are not "crazy" - there are real symptoms when living next to a wind turbine. 2. By blogging this diary everyday, I hope to keep good records about our struggle with the turbines that will assist in helping to determine cause and solution for different symptoms. I am not opposed to Green Energy. I actually don't mind the sight of the turbines. I like the look of them on the horizon. I do not believe, however, in moving forward with any project that has negative health effects to residence of the community.