SOS shows potential health effects from wind turbines with new film

November 5, 2008 at 8:05 pm Leave a comment

By Neil Etienne Staff Writer- Eganville Leader – November 05/08

Eganville — Save Our Skyline (SOS) President Lou Eyamie did local municipal councils one better, touring south to a Shelburne, Ontario area wind generation installation, where the Wilno-area resident became a bit of an admittedly amateur filmmaker to help get his volunteer group’s message out. One of the very same installations Madawaska Valley Township council visited on a three-spot, two-day fact-finding mission Oct. 2 and 3 and a site Mr. Eyamie has visited on numerous occasions before, he recently interviewed and filmed Helen Fraser and premiered his film at an SOS information meeting in Eganville last Wednesday night.

Mrs. Fraser is a woman who made national headlines recently, speaking out about health issues she suffered following the Shelburne area wind farm’s opening in spring of 2006. Her home, where she had lived for more than 30 years, ended up in the middle of the wind farm, and initially, she told Mr. Eyamie she had been in favour in the concept of wind energy. “I though these were going to be a good thing,” she said. “I didn’t realize the magnitude … they turned them on and our lives completely changed.” She told Mr. Eyamie that although she has a history of fibromyalgia her condition seriously deteriorated shortly after the wind mills were active, yet improved just as drastically every time she was outside the vicinity of the farm.

There were several towers within 400 metres of her home, in something of a “capital C” around the house, and a total of about 12 in full view, eight of which she said had a direct impact on the home, either by way of noise levels or light flicker. “I could tell if the turbines were running if I had a headache … that was even before I’d open the black-out blinds,” she said. Mrs. Fraser told Mr. Eyamie that when the towers were erected, she began having severe head and body aches, ringing in her ears, digestive issues and chronic fatigue which led to a whole host of other issues, including not being able to concentrate and depression. “And they all cleared up after 24 hours (of being away from home) and when we’d come back, the symptoms would be there 24 hours later,” Mrs. Fraser said.

“If the blades were pointing toward the house, I’d just write the day off. There were major, major health issues for me and since we’ve moved here (her new home), nothing.” She has since had to move from her home after a year and a half of suffering and gave warning to those on hand in Eganville to proceed cautiously when considering wind farms in the county. “It just made our lives a living hell,” she said. “I would say there’s a place for them, but I would say there’s no place for them near people. If someone said to me wind energy was green and harmless, I would say go and do your research. “Council, please step back and take a look at what you’re doing to your residents,” she said. “It was pure torture.

” With about 100 people on hand at the Eganville Legion for the meeting and informal movie preview — including Bonnechere Valley Mayor Zig Mintha and Councillors Bob Peltzer and Charlotte Neitzel — Mr. Eyamie also told the crowd that now is the time to make their concerns heard. “We’re not against green power, it’s got its place. But we need the support of everyone in the county or they are going to push these things down our throats. Let them know you’re out there,” he said, adding if people have concerns in general or health issues they fear could be affected by the introduction of wind towers, to inform their local councils.

Mr. Eyamie also said anyone living near an area they think may be developed for wind farming, to start documenting the property now with video and audio recordings, “morning, afternoon and night” to show how the visuals, sounds and light/shadow might affect the home at any hour and as a way to have a “before and after” picture of the impact. “If you are at all concerned about the affects of wind turbines on your property, do this now,” he said.

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