The region’s still recovering from Tuesday night’s severe storm and rainfall which closed highways, took out power to homes and shattered weather records in northwestern Ontario.
Highway 17 reopened between Kenora and Vermilion Bay at Richard Lake Road late this morning after being closed for several hours due to a massive hole in the highway.
Hydro One reports 11 seperate power outages within the Kenora area affecting 134 homes. They include two outages on Airport Road, one on North Poplar Bay Road and seven outages in the Channel Island and Thompson Island area.
There’s also four smaller outages near Clearwater Bay, two outages near Shoal Lake and one on Burnt Bay Road off of the TransCanada Highway. More information on Hydro One outages can be found here.
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.”
In videos shared on social media, Kenora residents reported severe flooding on Houghton Road near the cemetery during the storm.
“I saw a break in the clouds and I thought okay, let’s see if I can do this. Slid right along. Bounced off a couple of waves,” said Kenora resident Brayden McLeod, the brave kayaker in the video. He also helped to get the white vehicle unstuck.
“We ended up rescuing a car by the graveyard. It was swamped down there. He tried to pass me. I was down playing in the water. And a wave went right over his car. We pulled him back out. We got a lot of rain.”
McLeod adds the flooding and rainfall on Houghton Road drained away almost immediately after the storm.
This is the second major storm in just a few days in northwestern Ontario. Residents and emergency responders are still cleaning up the Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls area after Sunday night’s storm, severe rainfall and possible tornado activity.
Coulson says we’re heading into a quieter weather pattern over the next five to seven days, but humidex values are expected to remain high.