Mayor Darrin Canniff has declared a state of emergency for a section of Wheatley as a result of detection of Hydrogen Sulphide found at 15 Erie Street North on Monday.
The gas was detected by monitors installed as the result of an earlier release that forced an evacuation of the area. Chatham-Kent emergency personnel responded and remain on scene and provincial officials have been asked for their assistance.
A total of 52 people in 23 homes and 13 businesses in the area were evacuated Monday. A map of the evacuation area is attached to this release.
Although there is currently no detection of gas at the location, there is prominent detection of gas odour outside of the building and in surrounding areas.
While officials try to determine the source of the gas presence, the municipality is taking steps to keep the community informed and provide aid for residents and businesses.
Housing Officers from Community Human Services are working with displaced residents to provide emergency accommodation where needed.
Economic Development representatives will be taking information door-to-door and meeting with business owners to set up a time for them to retrieve perishable product in a safe, timely and orderly manner. A public health inspector will accompany the economic development staff to provide advice on the safe handling of food.
An email subscription service will be established to provide residents with regular updates and answers to frequently asked questions.
Residents are asked to call the municipality at 3-1-1 to register for the subscription service or to have their questions directed to the appropriate officials.
Acting Chief Administrative Officer Cathy Hoffman said, “This is a very difficult time for the residents and business owners of Wheatley. Our municipal team is here to support those affected and are working diligently to engage provincial officials to also take a leadership role.”