From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published May 11, 2012 12:56 PM

The Windsor Hum

There are always strange noises. Industry sources are often the cause of them. Thousands of people in Windsor, Ontario, say they are being bothered by a noise emanating from outside Detroit (possibly Zug Island in the USA which is a heavy industrial site). They call it the "Windsor Hum," and it's really two sounds — a deep, very low-frequency hum, like a diesel truck idling in your driveway, and a deep, vibrating pulse that you feel more than you hear. It has been happening for awhile now. Teri Gilbert, a spokeswoman for the agency, said seismic testing from Natural Resources Canada over the 2011 summer pinpointed a one-square kilometre area of River Rouge, which is on Zug Island. More precise locations or sources have not been verified. Because it is on the border line between two nations, it is far from clear who is responsible and who is to act much less on what.

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Zug Island is a heavily industrialized island in the city of River Rouge near the southern city limits of Detroit in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located where the mouth of the River Rouge spills into the Detroit River. Zug Island is not a natural island in the river; it was formed when a shipping canal was dug along the southwestern side of the island, allowing ships to bypass several hundred yards of twisting waterway near the mouth of the natural course of the lowest portions of the River Rouge.

Roy Norton, Detroit's Canadian consul general, says the noise is coming from the man-made Zug Island, which sits in the Detroit River. The noise apparently began when U.S. Steel reopened a mill on the island two years ago and, over time, Norton says, "It seems to have gotten worse."

U.S. officials say Americans can't hear it. Still, staff with Canada's Foreign Ministry have met with staff from the U.S. State Department to discuss it.

On Facebook, you will find more than 1,200 members of the Windsor-Essex Hum site. They say their lives have been disrupted for more than two years by a strange sound that is causing sleepless nights, and worry about how their health has been affected by the hum.

It is never nice to have an annoying noise that cannot be found as to its source so that no one can do anything about it. 

A Canadian seismographic study already has identified the island as the likely source of the hum. Everyone agrees a more detailed acoustic study is the next step, but it appears that finding the money for a study is up to the Canadians. Until then, it's likely there will be more sleepless nights ahead for the people of Windsor.

For further information see Hum.

Zug Island image via Wikipedia.

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