Highway 17 has reopened between Kenora and Vermilion Bay following a washout that closed the Trans-Canada Highway for several hours Wednesday morning.

The highway closure, which was reported at 03:43 a.m. on Wednesday, July 20, was near Richard Lake east of Kenora.

Environment Canada says they recorded up to 101 mm of rainfall last night, which shattered rainfall records for the area. The previous record of only 20 mm, or one-fifth of what we received last night, was set back in 1992.

And as Environment Canada Meteorologist Geoff Coulson explains, the region receiving the entire month of July’s average rainfall total in a single day is astounding, but what made the storm so severe was that the majority of its rainfall fell in one hour between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“A pretty significant storm system with multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms. A very unstable air mass. So much rain fell in a short span of time. Certainly, a reminder that the Lake of the Woods area is no stranger to severe summer storms.”