More rain to hit flood-affected northern Ontario
Thursday, September 12, 2013, 7:45 AM -
Non-severe thunderstorms that are tracking through Michigan are expected to move into Sault Ste Marie and Thessalon Wednesday evening.
No weather warnings are in effect, but the system is producing a lot of rain -- and that could exacerbate problems for northern Ontario, which is still dealing with the effects of flash flooding that occurred on Tuesday.
Early morning thunderstorms resulted in road closures, washouts and contributed to at least one death on Tuesday, authorities say.
Wishing everyone in my hometown of #saultstemarie who have been affected by the floods safety and best wishes! Keep dry SOO!— Rico Fata (@rfata96) September 10, 2013
Frequent lighting, powerful winds and heavy downpours -- giving local rainfall amounts in excess of 50 mm in a few hours' time -- were reported in parts of northern and eastern Ontario, prompting several small communities in northern Ontario to declare states of emergencies.
According to Emergency Management Ontario, Johnson Township, Macdonald, Meredith and Aberdeen Additional (Echo Bay) Township, Municipality of Huron Shores and Plummer Additional Township fell under the declaration.
Thessalon, which is southeast of Sault Ste. Marie, saw 103 mm of rain. According to the CBC, high water levels and and poor visibility likely contributed to a fatal motorcycle accident involving a 57 year-old man.
OPP reports suggest the man was driving on Duff road around 7:30 a.m. when his vehicle fell into a sinkhole. He later died in the hospital.
Comparatively, Sault Ste. Marie saw far less rain with only 22 mm falling, but that was enough to inundate roadways.
Washed-out roads in nearby Johnson Township left about 100 people stranded in their homes.
Flash floods are defined as floods that occur in less than six hours -- and it doesn't take much water to do a lot of damage.
Experts say that an SUV can hydroplane in as less than half a meter of water. Shallow, fast-moving water can easily sweep a car away.
Tuesday's storms arrived ahead of a warm front that brought July-like heat to much of southern Ontario.