Evacuation Zone Reduced in Wheatley

This morning over 190 residents participated in the hour long meeting hosted on the Municipal Facebook page, where listeners could submit questions to be answered by municipal and provincial representatives.

Those watching learned that work on the site where a gas explosion occurred back in August 2021 has reached a stage where the evacuation zone can now be reduced. A map showing the new evacuation zone boundaries can be found on Let's Talk Chatham-Kent/Wheatley-Updates.

Investigation and remediation work will continue in the new smaller evacuation zone.  Restaging of fencing to the new evacuation zone will begin on Wednesday April 13th beginning at the north-west corner of the evacuation zone, moving clockwise around the zone. This restaging of fencing to establish the new evacuation zone is anticipated to take a day or two. 

All residents and businesses that will have access to their properties outside the evacuation zone should reach out to their insurance companies and discuss next steps.

Reactivation of utilities must occur before occupancy. Utility companies will be working with residents to ensure a smooth reactivation process. 

For owners of properties that remain in the evacuation zone, the Municipality will endeavour to accommodate limited access for those may want access, but only to properties that are deemed safe to enter.  Access will be limited to certain periods of time when on-site conditions allow for it, based on the investigation work that is ongoing. 

The Provincial Wheatley Resident Assistance Program will continue to provide assistance for temporary accommodations during renovations as required and for all households that remain evacuated.

Beginning Saturday afternoon, April 9th, municipal case managers will be calling each evacuated household to provide guidance and discuss their individual circumstances.

If you would like assistance in completing a pre-inspection of your home, including an initial gas reading and visual inspection of your residence for visible hazards, please communicate this to your case manager.  If you miss this opportunity, please call your case manager directly to make your request. Case managers can be reached during business hours at 519-351-8573.

Economic Development officers will be reaching out to businesses over the coming days to discuss their individual circumstances.

Wheatley Subscription members will receive a detailed document with information and resources that outlines the various steps for safe re-entry to properties. This information will also be made available on our website at www.chatham-kent.ca.

We would like to remind the community, safety is the top priority for the workers on-site and the community. Air monitoring will continue to be conducted 24/7 in and around the municipal parking lot, on the perimeter of the evacuation zone and on mobile units. Residents must stay outside of the evacuation zone at all times for their safety.

Anyone can call 311 to get updates or answers to any questions.