Allan Taverner has been measuring rain for seven years, but he’d never seen a downpour like the one that soaked Windsor and caused widespread flooding Tuesday.
The retiree is part of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, a group of volunteers who gather precipitation data that Environment Canada relies on for additional information beyond what it collects at its own weather stations.
The weather authority’s official station at the Windsor Airport measured 100.4 millimetres between Monday and Tuesday, but at Traverner’s home on Longfellow Avenue the number was much higher.
“I had about 5.45 inches,” he said. “That’s about 138.4 millimetres.”
Taverner said he has three separate gauges scattered around his property so he was able to double and triple check his findings.
“I was very impressed,” he added. “With the 3.3 inches the day before and then this following it, and the continual rain, never-ending rain. I spent hours watching that with my wife and hoping it wasn’t going to get any higher up the driveway.”
Volunteers registered different rainfall readings across Essex-County Tuesday, with 165 mm measured in Essex and a record-breaking 169.4 mm and 290 mm in the Riverside area and LaSalle respectively.
Taverner said those numbers show how important it is for people to help Environment Canada get a clearer picture of precipitation across Canada.
“Without lots of volunteers in different areas you may miss these high readings,” he said.
As the water continued to creep up his driveway, Traverner watched his gauges fill, but while some basements in his neighbourhood flooded, his home remained dry.
“We were lucky,” he said.