‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’ Blamed for Mysterious Symptoms in Cape Cod Town
Sue Hobart, a bridal florist from Massachusetts, couldn’t understand why she suddenly developed headaches, ringing in her ears, insomnia and dizziness to the point of falling “flat on my face” in the driveway.
“I thought I was just getting older and tired,” said the 57-year-old from Falmouth.
Months earlier, in the summer of 2010, three wind turbines had been erected in her town, one of which runs around the clock, 1,600 feet from her home.
“I didn’t put anything to the turbines — we heard it and didn’t like the thump, thump, thump and didn’t like seeing them, but we didn’t put it together,” she told ABCNews.com.
Hobart said her headaches only got worse, but at Christmas, when she went to San Diego, they disappeared. And she said the same thing happened on an overnight trip to Keene, N.H.
“Sometimes at night, especially in the winter, I wake up with a fluttering in the chest and think, ‘What the hell is that,’ and the only place it happens is at my house,” she said. “That’s how you know. When you go away, it doesn’t happen.”
Hobart and dozens of others in this small Cape Cod town have filed lawsuits, claiming that three 400 feet tall, 1.63 megawatt turbines (two owned by the town and one owned by Notus Clean Energy) were responsible for an array of symptoms. A fourth, much smaller turbine, is owned by Woods Hole Research Center, but it receives fewer complaints.
The wind turbines have blown up a political storm in Falmouth that has resonated throughout the wind energy industry. Are these plaintiffs just “whiners,” or do they have a legitimate illness?
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