Barbara Ashbee’s former home sits vacant. Nearby, the blades of wind turbines cut through the air, creating power with each turn.
She and her husband Dennis Lormand had planned to retire in the two-bedroom bungalow they purchased in 2005. The couple knew a developer was planning to erect a wind farm in the area. What they didn’t realize, was how close to the turbines their home would be.
They never thought the turbines would be the reason they left what was to be a home to retire in.
“We never thought much of it,” said Ashbee. “When they were going up around us, they already had them up and running elsewhere and we hadn’t heard any problems.”
The Ashbees had just put the finishing touches on their insulated, two-car garage when things took a turn for the worst.
Almost immediately after the wind turbines began spinning near their home in Amaranth, Ont., near Shelburne, they began experiencing health problems.
“In the first week, there were three nights in a row when we had no sleep,” said Ashbee, noting it was always the worst at night.
Lormand began having heart palpitations. There was a constant ringing in his ear.
Ashbee began having stomach aches.
But the worst, was the lost sleep.
“You hear the blades turn, it’s this whomp, whomp, whomp, and you can’t shut it off,” Ashbee described. “It drives you crazy.”
She begged the company to shut the turbines down.
She did everything to try and get someone to listen.
They lived in the house for seven months with the wind turbines whirring nearby. The closest was 475 metres behind the house. There were another five within a one kilometre radius.
They could see 15 of them from their home.
“They surrounded us,” she said.
The wind company would eventually buy Ashbee and Lormand’s house. The sale came with a gag order, but Ashbee feels it is her duty to warn Ontarians that there are risks from living near wind turbines.
“The people who are going through it now, I know exactly what they are going through, the frustration and the health problems” said Ashbee. “Boy, if we all just shut up it would keep on going on and on.
“It’s criminal. It really is,” she added. “It’s totally negligent. The testimonies and letters that have been sent in and nothing is happening.
“It breaks my heart.”
Ashbee has a message for residents in communities that are poised for wind turbines: “fight your ass off.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding