Storm sets new rain record for Windsor and Tecumseh

A storm that inundated streets, flooded hundreds of homes and forced Windsor and Tecumseh to declare a state of emergency has set a new rainfall record.

Forecasters say stubborn storm expected to stay over weekend

Cars drive through flooding on St. Gregory Road in Tecumseh, Ont. 0:30

An intense and prolonged rain storm that inundated streets, flooded hundreds of homes and forced Windsor and Tecumseh to declare a state of emergency has set a new record. 

The Windsor Airport picked up 63.4 mm yesterday. That beat the record for that date in history, which was formerly 36.8 mm set back in 1973.- Environment Canada meterologist Geoff Coulson  

The slow-moving system lumbered through Essex County over a period of two days, soaking the area with steady rains and sometimes intense downpours that began Wednesday and lasted into Thursday morning. 

"We did set a record for rainiest September 29th as part of this multi-day event," Environment Canada meterologist Geoff Coulson told CBC News.

"The Windsor Airport picked up 63.4 millimetres yesterday. That beat the record for that date in history, which was formerly 36.8 mm set back in 1973."

Tecumseh hardest hit

All told, Coulson said the Windsor Airport recorded 94 mm of rain over two sodden days, the same amount the city normally gets over the entire month of September. 

Hardest-hit was Tecumseh, where Coulson said the storm hurled 195 mm of rain in some areas. 

The two-day drencher inundated vast areas and paralyzed transportation, turning parking lots into ponds, streets into streams and invading peoples' homes, turning basement rec rooms into soupy quagmires. 

While city officials are calling the storm a 100-year event, Coulson isn't as quick to make that conclusion, saying further study of the weather record is needed. 

'A very rare event'

However, the forecaster did say the storm's slow speed, combined with its intensity made it "a very rare event." 

"Normally our weather systems move from west to east," he said. "They dump their 20, 30, 40 mm and then they leave."

"Essex County found itself in the unfortunate position of being in the area where the bands of rain are the most intense from this stationary weather system."

"Unfortunately, [it's] still going to be with us through the weekend. The amount of rain is going to be tapering off somewhat but we're still looking at on and off shower activity for the rest of today and into Saturday and Sunday."

Rainfall totals, across Essex County as recorded by Environment Canada:

  • Windsor Airport: 94 mm.
  • Windsor Riverside: 135 mm.
  • Tecumseh: 180 to 195 mm.
  • Leamington: 80 to 91 mm.
  • Belle River: 94 to 115 mm.
  • Amherstburg: 53 mm.
  • Harrow: 48 mm.