Frances drenches Frosh

Kate Heron, ArtSci ’06 plays in puddles on King Street yesterday.
Kate Heron, ArtSci ’06 plays in puddles on King Street yesterday.

Torrents of rain fell onto Kingston streets, sidewalks and basements yesterday, washing out Frosh events on campus, and disrupting traffic flow and the transit system throughout the city.

The rainstorm was a fall-out from hurricane Frances, which assaulted the Florida coast last week.

Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson said 55 millimeters of rain fell on Kingston over Wednesday night, with another 20 to 30 millimeters expected to fall by late Thursday afternoon.

The average September rainfall in Kingston is 93 millimeters.

“You could almost be getting your monthly rainfall in one day,” he said.

The rain made for a wet day for the thousands of Frosh and their leaders, and forced the cancellation of some events.

A trip to Lemoine Point conservation area scheduled for commerce Frosh was cancelled. Engineers were also forced to cancel their Thundermugs race, where Frosh build a chariot from scraps in the ghetto, complete with a toilet bowl ‘mug,’ which they race in City Park. Instead, the Frosh watched movies at their Frecs’ houses.

Nursing Frosh missed out on their downtown tour, but were able to participate in their faculty meet and greet.

Arts and Science students were also able to proceed with their planned activities, including entertainment by a hypnotist and comedian.

Coulson said he expects minimal damage as the rain should soak into the ground, but Brian Judge, communications officer for the city of Kingston, said flooded streets were causing delays for drivers.

Gardiners Road was closed at the Bath Road intersection, due to flooding at the underpass.

“[The rain] is causing transit issues,” Judge said. “[The buses] are being re-routed through Bayridge and Bath roads, adding an extra five to ten minutes for those who were trying to travel.

“We’re ending up with serious delays because the traffic is backed up,” he said.

Judge said there was flooding in downtown spots, with the water rising above the curb on King Street.

Power outages throughout the city yesterday morning were resolved early in the day said Jim Keats, president and CEO of Utilities Kingston, but there was a record number of reports of flooding and leakages.

“This is the most calls of this nature that we can recall in the last eight years, not just in the old city but out in the townships as well,” Keats said.

He said flooding was not caused by backed up sewers, as homeowners suspected, but from water seeping in from the outside.

“Things are just so saturated,” Keats said.

Coulson said Environment Canada is monitoring the movements of hurricane Ivan, which is expected to hit the Florida coast early Tuesday, and may hit southern Ontario later next week.

He said the impact of two consecutive hurricane remnants could cause more serious problems in Kingston, but it’s too early to tell just how strong Ivan will be once it crosses the border.

As of Thursday afternoon there was no rain predicted for today or tomorrow.

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