Ike arrives in wake of record rain
75.2 mm fell Saturday
Remnants of hurricane Ike brought heavy rainfall and strong winds to the Windsor area on Sunday, tangling up power lines, toppling trees and making driving difficult in some areas.
The storm followed a sl ow- moving fronta l system that struck the Windsor area on Saturday with 75.2 millimetres of rain, shattering the previous Sept. 13 record of 39.1 millimetres set in 1979, according to Environment Canada.
Another rainfall record was expected to be set Sunday, when Environment Canada extended its rainfall warning for Windsor-Essex County as Ike continued moving toward the Toronto area. Much of southern Ontario was also under a rainfall warning, which was cancelled for Windsor at 9 p.m.
Jilles Coulome, an Environment Canada meteorologist, said Sunday afternoon the storm would end up just north of Toronto by 8 p.m. However, steady rain continued to drench the Windsor area well into the evening.
The storm was expected to dump up to 50 millimetres of rain over a period of about 12 hours starting Sunday afternoon. The previous rainfall record for Sept. 14 is 20.4 millimetres, set in 1990.
As Ike approached, winds picked up to speeds between 30 and 50 km/h, with gusts of up to 80 km/h, beginning in the afternoon and lasting overnight.
The high winds were blamed for cut power lines, falling tree branches and, in some cases, entire trees knocked over. On Malden Road in Amherstburg, a tree fell onto the roadway Sunday afternoon, partially blocking traffic. Emergency crews worked to cut away parts of the tree so that it could be removed from the road.
Around the same time, there were reports of hydro lines falling on the roof of a house on Marentette Avenue.
No injuries were reported in those incidents.
Although it rained heavily at times Sunday, reducing visibility and creating large puddles on the city’s major roads, Windsor police did not report any major weather-related accidents. Ike was expected to remain an “intense storm” as it moves over southeastern Quebec and produce heavy rains over parts of Labrador Sunday night and this morning.
Central and southeastern Labrador were expected to be hit the hardest with at least 40 millimetres of rain.
In the Windsor area, the rain was expected to end early this morning, as the skies clear up and the chance of more rain drops to about 40 per cent.
Although a high of 27C was predicted for this area Sunday, the mercury reached 29.1 as of 2 p.m. Temperatures are expected to drop slightly for the week, with today’s high predicted to be 19C.
Coulome said this area should see “nice weather” Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with sunny conditions and highs in the low 20s.
On Saturday, Ike slammed into the Texas coast as a giant Category 2 hurricane, leaving extensive devastation in its wake. About two million people had left the region before the hurricane struck and about 2,000 were rescued from flooded areas.
Early estimates put the damage at billions of dollars.