Wheatley Update September 8

Removal of debris from the site of an August 26 explosion in Wheatley should be concluded by the end of this week, facilitating efforts to find the source of a hydrogen sulphide leak suspected to be the cause of the incident.

There has been no detection of toxic, flammable gas since the explosion. Debris from the site of the explosion is being bagged and taken to a landfill facility for proper disposal of any hazardous material such as asbestos.

Chatham-Kent CAO, Don Shropshire said posts on social media this week claiming that a decision has been made to demolish a number of buildings in the area are false.

"The structural integrity of buildings in the vicinity of the blast has not been determined as of yet," he said. "Municipal officials will take the appropriate action regarding structures when it is safe to do so."

RBC is setting up a temporary bank in the parking lot of the Wheatley Arena. The mobile unit has arrived in the community and will be operational as soon as possible. The RBC branch in downtown Wheatley remains closed.

Residents with concerns about their property, business or personal expenses are urged to contact their insurance companies to determine their coverage and to be able to access firms who deal with restoration and mitigation Issues.

Local community aid efforts are being coordinated through the Active Citizens of Wheatley, the Wheatley Business Improvement Area and the Wheatley Food Bank. Information on activities can be found at the Active Citizen's Facebook Group.

The reception centre at the Wheatley Arena has had 182 visits from 92 unique households. The centre is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Evacuees should call 519-351-8573 during office hours and ask to speak to a Wheatley Crisis Case Manager. After office hours they can call 519-354-6628 and they will be assisted with access to our on-call supervisor.

Residents who need information after hours can call 519-350-2956.

The municipality continues to provide accommodation for nine households with 25 residents. Wheatley residents who would like to be added to the municipality's email subscription service can do so by calling 3-1-1 or 519-360-1998 during regular business hours or by emailing ck311@chatham-kent.ca with contact information (name, phone number, address, email address).

A 90-minute question and answer session held Saturday remains on the Chatham-Kent Facebook page and the Chatham-Kent YouTube Channel for viewing.

Wheatley residents concerned about where to vote in the September 20 federal election can enter their address at www.elections.ca to find their polling location.

For more information contact:
Don Shropshire
Chief Administrative Officer
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3010

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