Opinion: Amish man who lives in Parishville shares fears about wind farm project
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 11:47 am

To the Editor:

As a member of the Amish community, I would like to share my concerns about the industrial wind project proposed for our area.

Amish families use wood for many purposes from heating our homes to cooking, canning, and heating water for cleaning, laundry, and so forth. We work the land, spending long days in the fields from early spring through late fall, so the job of cutting wood for the following year is done during the winter months.

Last summer I happened to be talking with some Amish friends from the Ellenburg community. They told me that one day last winter when they were in the woods preparing to cut trees for next year's supply, the wind turbines started to turn. As they began to turn at a faster rate, the blades began to throw chunks of ice. Huge pieces of ice started crashing through the trees and all around the surrounding area, forcing them to flee the woods.

It is puzzling to me that these individuals had an experience like this because the company claims when ice is shed, in most instances it drops straight down. I don't know how far my friends were from the turbine, but all trees were cleared from a large area around the base of the turbine, so it is likely that the ice traveled several hundred feet through the air in order to get to where they were.

Amish are not the only people who cut and store their wood for the next winter. Many people of our area use wood to heat their homes. I wonder if they have thought about the danger of being hit by a large chunk of ice while out in the woods, collecting their firewood.

My experience visiting the Jericho Rise Wind Farm has also caused me serious concern about the noise. I believe being surrounded by turbines like those would be detrimental to our future and our children's future.

When the company decided not to build wind turbines in Parishville, I read that the reduced project area would minimize impacts, leaving a smaller footprint on the environment. To me, it would be very interesting to know how much the original impact was going to be before it was lessened.

This is also puzzling to me since they have said there would be no environmental impact.

Levi Zook