A quiet room of their own: Residents impacted by wind turbines sleep in Delhi

By Barbara Simpson — Delhi News-Record, delhinewsrecord.ca

Stepping into the makeshift home of the trio of wind turbine victims is similar to stepping into an abandoned apartment.

Two worn chairs and a pair of tables decorate the modest living room. The kitchen counter is littered with little more than Tim Hortons coffee cups. And a single bed rests in the corner of the sole bedroom — the ultimate luxury for these sleepless women.

“I’m not here to entertain people,” quipped Stephana Johnston, one of the renters. “I’m here to sleep.”

As simplistic as that may sound, that’s exactly why these three women — who have their own places near Lake Erie — have invested in this Delhi apartment. Johnston, along with Kay Armstrong and Tracy Whitworth, are escaping the Cultus/Frogmore/Clear Creek Industrial Wind Turbine Zone — three sets of six wind turbines that they claim have triggered health problems.

Johnston, the 79-year-old former federal Green Party candidate, has a laundry list of symptoms. She has suffered with pressure in her ears, vertigo, nausea and twitching in her legs.

“I didn’t expect it,” she said. “I didn’t know why I was naïve to think I’m a Canadian and I can take it.”

Initially, Johnston and several residents objected to the massive wind turbine project due to its potential impact on migratory birds. They formed an advocacy group, first unsuccessfully appearing before Norfolk council and later unsuccessfully appealing to the Ontario Municipal Board in 2005.

Slowly, the 18 industrial wind turbines came onboard in sets. However, the adverse health reactions didn’t start to be unleashed until the final Clear Creek set came online, Johnston said. She remembers the exact date — Nov. 22, 2008.

“That’s when the effect — the full effect of all 18 — affected us,” she said.

Over time, neighbours began to compare symptoms and eventually met at Johnston’s house. Some of these residents have now gone on to form the Norfolk Victims of Industrial Wind Turbines, chronicling their health issues and advocating for relief.

Last week, Johnston was even successful in seeking Norfolk council’s support for a moratorium on industrial wind turbines. The county is now No. 60 out of 440 Ontario municipalities supporting a moratorium, according to Johnston. She believes more municipalities will jump on board as word continues to spread.

“As people learn more about this, more and more people will err on the side of caution,” she said.

In Maine, Dr. Nina Pierpont has been investigating and writing on members of her own community that believe their health has suffered due to wind turbines. She has a relief fund dedicated to helping victims. Johnston and her roommates benefited from $2,500 of that funding.

However, the bills continue to mount up. The Delhi apartment costs $680 per month, plus utilities. This is in addition to the expenses of running a home.

It has become too much for Johnston, who is the primary user of the apartment. She will say goodbye to her Delhi sleeping quarters and now possibly move into her son Ross’s trailer.

“It’s gone the end of June,” she said. “Now I have to look for a less expensive strategy to deal with it.”

In the meantime, Johnston keeps hope that her symptoms will disappear and her living situation will improve.

“Every morning when I get up and say my prayers, I say, ‘Please don’t let the wind turn for Clear Creek, Cultus and Frogmore,’” she said.

6 thoughts on “A quiet room of their own: Residents impacted by wind turbines sleep in Delhi

  1. Every time I hear a story like this I wonder where the hell am I living?………….and why isn’t there a massive group of people dragging McGuinty kicking and screaming out his “bunker” at Queens Park and locking him inside one of the homes next to a Wind Turbine for at least a month…………

    What country am I in again?…………..Korea?……….China?………….

  2. We’re sailing on Titanic II and Dalton’s at the wheel!

    In days of old, an oppressed crew would make their mad-dog skipper walk the plank. But this is here and now .. and the OPP special squad is fully prepared to crack heads!

  3. This is the end result of wind turbines, period. I really appreciate this article for what it is, the unglossed over truth, the distressing life of an average person whose home is invaded by wind turbines. With thousands more turbines slated for Ontario, there will by hundreds of people in this situation. I don’t know where I’d go either, or if I could afford to move. No More Wind Turbines Refugees.

  4. It’s so sad what’s going on and there seems to be nothing anyone can do. We in the US are experiencing the same problems. It all boils down to the fact the wind companies get no money unless they put these things up. Whether it dispoils the landscape, ruins individuals health, enjoyment and use of their property it doesn’t seem to matter. Untill the money train stops and the “powers that be” discovers and cares what’s going on. I don’t hold out much hope!

  5. With Obama’s announcement yesterday, it’s going to get a whole lot worse in the US. Somehow he thinks the solution for the massive environmental catastrophe in the Gulf will be solved by throwing billions of money at the wind developers.

  6. Why do you think that Obama is “dragging his feet” on the Gulf Spill?

    He will offer up his Green Dream as the answer to this pollution!

    When residents are picked up by UN trucks out of Reynolds Airforce Base and “relocated” away from the poison fumes of the oil then he will have unlimited unpopulated areas to plant thousands of useless wind turbines!

    Nice World unfolding in front of us isn’t it?

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