Wheatley Update October 20

While efforts continue to find the source of a recurring gas emission that caused an August 26 explosion and ongoing evacuation in downtown Wheatley, municipal and provincial officials are also providing residents and businesses assistance.

Thomas Kelly, Chatham-Kent General Manager, Infrastructure & Engineering Services, said six 10-ft holes have been cored in the area of the explosion. Gas testing and monitoring are in process and this information will be used to determine the next steps.

Municipal Employment & Social Services Case Management Services are available at the centre Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Wheatley Area Food Bank is open each Tuesday from nine a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The Centre also houses the Wheatley Branch of the Chatham Kent Library that is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The centre is located at 108 Talbot Road East and can be reached by phone at 226-484-1004 or by email at info@villageresourcecentre.ca.

Chatham-Kent CAO, Don Shropshire said the centre is the result of a partnership between the municipality and the Wheatley Recovery Group, a community effort involving Wheatley residents including the Business Improvement Association.

“We have committed to providing assistance to the community and having the Wheatley Recovery Group involved means we can directly address issues from a local perspective and provide the assistance people need most,” he said. “We’re grateful for the partnership.”

The municipality is urging residents with questions about the situation to reach out through the centre, call the municipality at 519-360-1998 or 3-1-1 Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or email ck311@chatham-kent.ca.

Residents can subscribe to the email updates through the Subscription Services page on the Chatham-Kent website or by contacting the Municipality.

“We urge residents to reach out to the municipality or the Wheatley Recovery Group,” he said. “Social media lends itself to the spread of rumours and half-truths and we’ve seen both recently. If someone posts information on social media that is contrary to what we are providing, be very skeptical. We rely on facts and we are accountable. That’s not always the case elsewhere.”

Chatham-Kent’s General Manager of Community Human Services, April Rietdyk said housing services are still being provided to a number of families and individuals. “There may be residents who had temporary accommodations when the evacuation took place but whose circumstances have changed,” she said. “We want residents to know we’re still here to help.”

Rietdyk said case managers are also able to help displaced individuals in obtaining winter coats and cold-weather clothing. “Residents in the evacuated area don’t have access to their personal property and with cold weather approaching the need for season-appropriate clothing is growing more urgent,” she said.

Residents requiring emergency housing outside of weekday office hours may call the Homeless Response Line (HRL) at 519-354-6628. 

Evacuees may also call 519-351-8573 Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and ask to speak with a Wheatley Crisis Case Manager for assistance with housing, food, and other support services. 

Residents requiring general information should call 519-360-1998 or 3-1-1, Monday- Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. To subscribe to email updates please email ck311@chatham-kent.ca.

For more information contact:

Don Shropshire
Chief Administrative Officer
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3010

April Rietdyk
General Manager of Community Human Services 
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
226-312-2025 x 2100

Media Contact:
Jim Blake
Communications Officer
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3624