'If I lost that, I lost everything': Erie Shore Drive homeowners pick through storm aftermath
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Homeowners on Erie Shore Drive near Erieau in Chatham-Kent are taking stock of what they lost, and what was spared, after a significant wind storm tore through the shoreline community.
On Monday, floodwaters had cleared as homeowners and clean-up crews assessed the damage left behind by the 100 km/h winds and pounding waves.
“I didn’t sleep well last night,” said Stephanie Boudreau, a homeowner on the street.
Boudreau returned to her home on Monday after the storm battered the community a day earlier. Her home was luckily left largely unscathed.
She checks in periodically on her home after moving out due to evacuation orders. Boudreau’s home is on a stretch of the street that’s been closed by Chatham-Kent council due to fears the dike could be breached.
The stress levels climbed as Boudreau heard her home was in the storm’s crosshairs while on the road on her way back from Ottawa.
“They evacuated us in March so, I’m living somewhere else,” said Boudreau. “I was like, ‘oh no, not again.’”
A string of power poles dangled across the street, some snapped in half and splintered. One home has been completely obliterated, with just a portion of the kitchen left standing.
“It’s so sad to see those properties that are down and destroyed by the wind and the waves and the water,” said Boudreau.
All power has been turned off on the street and at least 70 customers are without electricity in the area.
“We’ve placed additional crews from other areas to help out the hardest hit areas,” said Alex Stewart, a spokesperson with Hydro One. “Our crews are working day-in and day-out to get the power back in and we really do appreciate our customers’ patience during this time.”
Stewart says the storm created widespread outages across the province and expects to see more outages as the storm moves across eastern Ontario.
Entegrus reports at least 2,600 customers had power knocked out as a result of the storm rolling through on Sunday.
“Yesterday was one of the rougher days and with the water [levels] being down. We handled the water better than what I thought we were going to,” said Ed Wood, who’s lived on the street his whole life.
Wood calls it the worst storm he’s seen in 42 years.
Sand bags surround his house and pro-active dredging in his backyard helped to keep his home from flooding; however, his neighbours weren’t so lucky.
With power knocked out, Wood was able to lean on a natural gas generator to power his house and help run the sump pump in his neighbour’s home to help send the water back out of the basement.
“It was a little interesting yesterday with the winds being as high as what it was to try to get everything in place,” said Wood.
While crews work to locate utilities, clear trees and restore power, Boudreau counts herself as one of the lucky ones.
A dry basement and a home in one piece helped to give her some peace of mind.
“That’s a big relief,” said Boudreau. “I think God and my father who is in the sky right now and looking at me and I said, ‘Oh thank you’ because it’s a lot of stress. This is my permanent house so, if I lost that, I lost everything.”