"Health issues from headaches to vertigo have been testified to for over a year now." (Mars Hill, Maine)

Feb 23, 2009

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The following letter was written by Wendy Todd (Mars Hill, Maine), giving an update on what life is like for her community as it struggles to live with industrial wind turbines nearby.  The letter is addressed to Steven Thurston, a member of the People’s Task Force on Wind Power (Roxbury, Maine), which is fighting Big Wind in its backyard.  Click here for the original, which is reprinted with appreciation to Wendy Todd and Steve Thurston and the PTFWP.

February 16, 2009

If the email I received today from Wendy Todd does not convince you that turbines are bad for people (and other living things), either your names are King and Gardiner, or your paycheck is signed by the wind industry. In preparation for the Roxbury DEP hearing on Wednesday I contacted Wendy to see how things were in Mars Hill, more than a year after the turbines went on line—Steve Thurston, Roxbury, Maine.

Dear Steve,

Health issues from headaches to vertigo have been testified to for over a year now. It seems amazing to me that Jim Cassida, permitting coordinator for the DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] was quoted as saying that there haven’t been any health concerns mentioned in Mars Hill.

WOW, where has he been?

The group here in Mars Hill has a full range of symptoms related to turbines. It affects different people in different ways. R.F., ringing in the ears – D. G., sleep aids and prescription for headaches – C. R. – professional counseling for depression and help with anger – D. M., increased migraines, changes to prescriptions to help, skin condition from the stress of little sleep and aggravation from the noise and shadow flicker – L.T., aggravated migraines, changes to medication – M. C., on and off depression medication and so on.

I have been offered depression medication from my doctor to help handle the mental aspect of this nightmare, but I have never opted to start. Both Perrin [Wendy’s husband] and I have had headaches, sleepless nights that turn into anger, frustration and rage.

I have experienced ringing in the ears on really bad days and have had a couple of times when my eyes twitch uncontrollably for no reason other than the stress of the turbines wailing and thumping for days on end.

The shadow flicker and days with heavy blade thump create a sense of unbalance and dizziness for our family and have been experienced by many others in the group.

Most families have had to adjust how they live in their homes based on the noise and shadow flicker. Drawn curtains and blinds, fans or white noise machines by our bedsides, earplugs and so on have become reality for most.

Keep in mind that even after those adjustments there are still nights when the noise from the turbines will wake you and then keep you awake with the repetitive thumping.

It is so much more than a nuisance. It alters your life.

There are people in the town of Blaine, who live on Libby road, 3+ miles away who hear the turbines, and more on route 1A in Mars Hill who hear them as well. These folks live anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 miles away and on the upwind side of the project. That will give you an idea of what people who are downwind of the project and under a half mile deal with.

And to think that the industry still gets away with saying things like, “They are no louder than your refrigerator.”

Maine is a winter and night resource for wind. It is always worse in colder months and at night. Tell that to those who visit a turbine facility on a pleasant day in June and July and say “We have visited a facility and there is no issue with noise.”

Most people have no idea how many variables go into the noise issue.

I am sorry but even Rob and Angus are still in the dark about the truth about the noise. They have listened to the industry and put more weight there than they should. Sorry to go on so – It just seems that the voices of Mars Hill have gone unheard.

Wendy Todd

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