Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Diary of an Ubly Resident...

November 04, 2009

Woke up about 4:00 a.m. with pounding pulse in my head. When I looked outside at dawn the wind was from the northeast and that is the way the wind turbines were facing, right toward our house. It may be the answer, as the east wind and north wind have been happening quite a lot recently. I will keep this log of when my head is pounding. One night got ready and in bed and my head began to hear this pounding, to the speed, I think, of the wind turbines. I tried to move to a chair and then move the chair backward from the windows but it continued. I then tried to pull the chair through the door to another bedroom, but it was too big so had to get my husband up and we had to pick up the chair and turn it backwards. Got into the chair in a bedroom down the hall at the opposite side of my bedroom but when I tried to lay in the chair, the pounding started again. I finally fell asleep much later, when I awoke in the morning I had a headache.

November 19, 2009

On Nov. 11th, the same thing happened again. I got into my bed and the pounding started, I am starting to hear it before I get into bed. I had to put cotton in my ears and take a Advil Night pill to finally fall asleep after an hour of trying. I am losing much sleep because of this. On Nov. 12, same thing only my husband gave me a set of his rubber ear plugs that he uses when shooting his gun, I still needed to add cotton over these ear plugs, but the pounding was still in my head, just not as loud. This is a horrible thing to have to realize that you will be one of the many who cannot sleep in their own homes. It is very disheartening.


Tonight I plan to use the plugs, and ear pads that are used for shooting, I have a feeling this won’t work either because it seems to be inside of my body, not on the outside. All who read this, please pray for me and all the other people going through this problem.


I am trying to figure out in my mind why this would happen after almost a year of these wind turbines going. What is different about these November days from other days, as I have never had this pounding sound in my house. Still have not heard it in the downstairs of my home.


My conclusions so far are:


1. We took down two big trees from the east and on the south side of our home. Maybe the noise from the wind turbines were going to those trees, and when the wind took down some big branches we worked on cutting them down and they are gone. With no where to go, the sound decided to hit our house.


2. Maybe John Deere upped the speed of the wind turbines, so that they are bothering me in my home. The wind has also been from the northeast at these times, I think, as in the dark it is hard to tell. But I am almost sure that this northwest wind could also be the problem.


3. Someone said that a new plant for drying corn has been erected on a side road east of us and maybe that sound, which some people say bothers them is coming into my home also. This is the most unlikely to me, but if it stops after the corn is all dried, maybe I will have some relief.


Any comments from people would be helpful. Life is getting worse around here and this is quite distressing.


December 02, 2009

After waking up with a bad headache on top of my head for a couple of weeks, it has slowed down some. The wind is not as strong, very calm for a while, maybe that is why. I now go to sleep with ear plugs ready to put in, which I do almost every night. Also bought an acoustic head set that I guess is supposed to keep out sound. It is ready to wear if it gets too bad. When it was so bad I wore this headset for a few nights. It has now been a week  that I have been able to sleep without too much of a problem. But I always wind up putting the ear plugs in in order to fall asleep. I hope this does not hurt my ears wearing ear plugs all night.


I have a friend down the road who said that I can go to her house to sleep if I can’t take it. It seemed that I was compelled to ask her because I didn’t know how much longer I could stand the big pounding in my upstairs, and downstairs also. During the day I do not hear it so much, but it still must be there and that is why I always have a slight headache and it is probably working on my body and I don’t even know it. The headaches have not been as bad as before.


Went to the Public Service Commission meeting in Lansing on a bus with other people who are concerned about these wind turbines and how close they are to the homes. The commissioners (3 of them) were not even there. They taped everything to show them later. They probably are afraid of us and what we might say to them.  They should be as they are making decisions for our life that will probably kill some of us. How can their conscience not bother them over this. I am sure they know that in Europe they have to be at least a mile from people, but here only 1000 feet. The devil is alive and well in our government. Greed in the root of all evil, a statement that I now understand.


I told them what I have been through for 2 weeks and do not look forward to more of the same. I said I was their collateral damage, like our soldiers are in the bomb explosion and so are the people who are nearby and die from these explosions. I think war is a terrible thing, and Obama is wrong to keep it going.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Diary of an Ubly Resident...


Better weather is coming and I think louder sounds from the wind turbines comes with it. Even with low wind, I have noticed a louder jet and whoosh sound when they are running. The 3 behind my house have been running most of the time while a lot of others are down. Towards morning I awoke at 4:30 a.m. and thought I could hear the wind turbines going, the windows were closed.   It must be in the atmosphere during the summer months that the sounds are louder. Will I be able to come to terms with this, as the government in this county seems to have no pity for those they have been burdened with these noises.

Saw a really strong strobe last evening going in the field south of our house. It was hitting a neighbor’s house across M-19. So it comes a long way from the wind turbine. Not sure which turbine is producing this strobe. It was moving south and hitting another neighbor’s house further south across the road for a short time.  Didn’t see it until about 8:00 p.m. so don’t know how long the strobe was in our field and the neighbor’s homes.
Also, more and more articles in wind, which keeps you abreast of the wind turbines going up in the world, are negative toward wind turbines because of noise and strobe. They are putting them too close to homes and destroying the noise environment for the people to close to them. Some people, and families are to the point of becoming sick. Lack of sleep is mentioned a lot, and I know, for a fact, that not enough sleep makes you sick. People are starting to believe this really happens. Yet our government, and others across the globe think it is okay to subject us to this. Did you every think “Our country is becoming a socialized place, like the Soviet Union use to be.” Scary isn’t it. Just my thoughts.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Diary of an Ubly Resident...


Just some thoughts. Some people are told that without writing a letter to the zoning board with copies to Commissioners and I think state government also, that they will assume no one is bothered by the wind turbines with noise or strobe. There are two people who have written these letters after they found out that just word of mouth does not do it for a complaint.
I know of at least two or three other people who need to get their complaints in, and I have let 2 of them know. I hope that they will follow through because if they don’t they will have to live with whatever they are putting up with. When summer comes and I have the windows open and can hear when there is a sound and how or if it bothers me I will write my letter to this zoning board, who did nothing but treat people like myself like I didn’t know what I was talking about. Even if I have no course but to put up with it, they will understand that my environment is quite different than it was before the wind turbines started up. To spoil this environment for people, when there are wide open spaces elsewhere is another travesty that big business is capable of doing.
The Lord is unhappy with his U.S. people, we should all be praying to him to save us from his wrath. I find it hard to not have a wrath against these wind turbines, but I ask God every day to help me to accept this that has happened, and to remember that our kingdom is with him, not with the greed and evil in this world.

Today I heard the wind turbines inside my house, up in my husband’s bedroom. It was not real loud but definitely could hear them. The Jet sound coming from the west. My husband said he has heard it several times at night and I told him when the windows are opened, I hope we are able to sleep with this sound going all night. It must have something to do with the atmosphere and pressure because it seemed extremely loud for the wind that was only blowing medium. If these wind turbines are all over the county there will be many people who will have a hard time with them. It is a terrible sin to make people put up with this noise for the duration of living on their own property.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Quiet Countryside is Gone

I am writing to give you our personal perspective living within a windfarm. We live near 4 wind turbines, the closest being 1100' away. Our experience so far has been if we are down wind from a turbine they make a considerable amount of noise. Also trees and buildings noticeably amplify the sound. Outside it sounds like jet noise with a intermittent swoosh. Inside it sounds like a truck running outside. In the evening on a sunny day when the blades begin to flicker the incoming light, it is similar to someone turning the lights on and off. We live in a nice ranch style home that we have invested our life savings into. It will never be worth what it was. The quiet countryside is gone. As far as jobs go,  we have been told about the jobs that the windfarm will bring.  Most are transient workers that follow the construction from state to state. The gravel and concrete work that hires most local workers lasts 3 to 4 weeks. In conclusion, remember we all live in the same county and we should all be treated equally in these decisions.  

- Thumb Area Resident

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How Can This Happen?

I live and work in the thumb and have friends who live close to the wind turbines. I can tell this bothers them and they complain about the noise. They say the noise is worse when there's no wind on the ground and there is more wind higher up where the turbines are. In the winter with the windows shut they can sometimes hear the noise and in the summer with the windows open they say it's hard to fall asleep. I go to their house, listen for myself and agree with what they are saying. The first time I drove by a wind turbine I stopped on the road and thought it was no big deal,but now I know better. They say that sometimes when the sun is low shadows fly around the yard and flicker inside the house which is really annoying. I think it would drive me crazy to live with it. They have their life savings into their property and even if they could move, who would want to buy a house near the turbines? They feel violated and nobody cares about their concerns. When they speak up people say mean things. They know other people in the neighborhood with similar issues. Somebody told them about a nieghbor with headaches and some other health problems but not many know about this. I can see their frustration but I don't know how to help them. I heard they want to put up a lot more wind turbines in the thumb.  It makes me feel sick that our government can do this and harm people who don't have a say.  I know people want to make money from these turbines but I can't understand why nobody cares about the people. 

- Thumb Area Resident

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Diary of an Ubly Resident

Log that I am keeping regarding the wind turbine noise and my thoughts....


I feel that it is a sin to subject people like us to the sound of jets and whoosh for the rest of our lives. When the wind turbines are running, which is almost all the time if they are facing to the south and west or east and the wind is not low, it is very intrusive to our quiet life we have lived here near Ubly. Of course, cars and trucks go by, but there are long intervals between this happening. At the least 5 minutes or longer between big trucks. At night just a few big trucks. I have not heard the wind turbines in my house, thank God it is insulated quite well. But in the summer we like to open the house up and we will have to listen to the jets 24/7 which is what I told the zoning board, but they refused to listen, greed was in their eyes and sly smiles on their faces. I know the look of greed and it is scary. Just look at what happened to our country. Greed has taken over. My health, at this time of my life, is fragile. If I find out what is wrong I will write it down here. I have great difficulty sleeping and mostly do not get the proper sleep. I survive in poor health with this problem. With the wind turbines, it just might kill me. May God forgive the greed that brought these wind turbines so close to us. I am sure I am not the only one bothered. I am not looking forward to the summer and walking around our property with our dog every day like we usually do. We have heard through the grapevine that one person near the windmills has a strobe in his house sometimes. It is very bothersome. Also a farmer in the area of the windmills is having a hard time adjusting to the noise. We also heard that a person in town had trouble sleeping because of the windmills. How often was not told.


The wind turbines were off for some days after the big winds that happened when we were without power for 4 days. This wind sheared off two light poles south of our house and they were not repaired for 4 days. We were without heat, lights and water for those 4 days. The wind turbines continued to run throughout this wind and went for several days. Gusts were up to 50 miles per hour per the TV news and probably higher to knock down two light poles. I remember being told at a zoning meeting by the representative of Noble Wind Farms that they would be shut off when wind speeds were that high. They were not and continued running day and night throughout these high wind days.


Just a note about the Commissioner’s agenda on what they need to work on in 2009. The wording is so very trying to hide an agenda. It says “Develop plans to use more green energy in Huron County to benefit everyone living in Huron County.” Well, we all know that this is wind turbines, will benefit a few of the farmer’s who sign up for them, and that the rest of the county will be paying higher electric bills for this green energy that is not a cost-saving way to produce electricity. Listening to the jets is another thing people will have to cope with. How they have a play on words?


It seems like if the wind is from the direct east and probably from the west with a little north the whoosh sound will be a problem. The jet sound is there in most west wind from south or north. 24/7 jets is what I feel we have to look forward to with the whoosh sound when wind is directly from the east. We shall see.


It seems like something else I heard has come true, that all people are not affected the same. Today, when I stepped outside I heard jet sound surrounding all areas of the sky. My husband said that he heard jets at first when the wind turbines were up but now he hears a whoosh, whoosh. Perhaps I don’t hear the whoosh because I am inside a lot more than he and it is winter and the doors and windows are closed up. I wonder what will happen in the summer when I am outside or have window up. Just a thought. My friends, who either don’t hear the wind turbines or just don’t care about it (unlikely), seem to have abandoned me. They don’t want to hear about it anymore. If it was my friend, I would care about it. Unless, of course, they think that I am lying about it and don’t even realize I try to tell the truth. I do hear these wind turbines, jet sound and whoosh. Just don’t know yet what it will be like in the summer when my windows are open. Can I put up with it? Don’t know yet, I will ask God to help me survive this.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Life at 1,500 ft.

My family and I live and farm in the Thumb area.  We have three turbines within a half mile of our farm. The nearest is about 1500 ft. from our house. Since the turbines began turning this fall, we have been amazed at the amount of noise they create. The sound is like that of a distant jet. The sound can often be heard indoors- especially at night. The nature of the noise is so out of place it is hard to mask. When we're outside, the noise created by the turbine echoes off the buildings and seems to be amplified. When the wind is strong, the noise is masked, but about 75% of the time, the turbines are the dominant sound outside. A big concern we have at this time, is that as the weather improves (which we hope it will soon) windows will open, weather proofing will be removed and the noise that dominates the outdoors will intrude on the indoors even more. At 1500 ft, we thought we may be safe, but we were mistaken. I don't know what the answer is for setbacks, but 1500 ft. is to close.


The key to a successful wind farm is placement. Once these structures are erected, there is no turning back! If a turbine at 1500 ft. causes a disturbance when it's new, how much more will it disturb when the components begin to deteriorate. I know some have the view of "it's my land and I'll do what I want", but I'd like to believe the Thumb is different. We are all friends, neighbors and stewarts of the land. As farmers, we control erosion with cover crops, safely apply chemicals, plant filter strips, follow manure management guidelines to reduce the impact on our neighbors, etc.... all in an effort to care for the land and our community. As land owners we have a responsibility to our neighbors as well. We are all part of this peaceful area we call home. It is often said you don't know what you've got till it's gone. Be assured, you may not realize how peaceful this area is until one day, for what ever reason, the turbines aren't turning and you hear the quiet- it's a quiet we've become much more aware of in recent months. A quiet that is to rare. 


We were all made promises during the development phase of this project. Two important ones were jobs and money. Jobs came- and then just as quickly went. Many of the jobs were from Wisconsin and other states. They took their paychecks and likely sent them home to their families. Some Michigan people were granted temporary construction jobs, but they have also gone back to their own areas too. There are only a handful of permanent jobs.


Money. Where to begin, Money is the driving force of wind development. It seems the only green part of wind development is the money. Subsidies and tax breaks are freely given to developers, and land owners are promised large payments. As for the actual benefit to the area- it remains to be seen. The minimum amounts promised to us (yes- we were offered a contract and after having it reviewed by a land use attorney decided not to sign it) were quite insignificant in the farm industry- less than $3000. Is the promise of more with a guarantee of so little worth the impact on our friends and neighbors? I know first hand of two homes that have been put on the market because of the windmills. Both homes are over a half mile away from the nearest turbine. Noise and other elements  such as strobing and flicker are a concern, even at this distance, and has lead to their decision to sell.


Doctors are still learning about the effects windmills have on the human body. It seems quite clear that there is a direct link between health and the proximity of homes to turbines. There are so many questions and so few definitive answers. My experience with developers is that they use a lot of words like- shouldn't, we don't expect, probably, may, etc. Do you feel comfortable with these answers? Are you willing to sacrifice you peace and quiet and possibly your health for these types of answers?


Green energy may be critical to our future, but it needs to be done correctly. Families should not have to suffer because they don't own enough land to make the decision for themselves. 

- Thumb Area Resident