Wheatley assistance expands

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(Image courtesy Mark Ribble/Southpoint Sun)

Still no word on the source of the gas leak that caused the Aug. 26 explosion in downtown Wheatley.

The clean up is complete and municipal officials from Employment and Social Services continue to assist the residents of Wheatley affected by the explosion.

Since the incident, case managers have been on site at the Wheatley Arena and available by phone.

Employment and Social Services has worked with local community groups including the Wheatley Food Bank and Wheatley BIA, as part of the Wheatley Recovery Group.

The Wheatley Recovery Group has been essential to the recovery efforts as the group has connected residents in need, identified service gaps in the community, and launched the Wheatley BIA Disaster Relief Fund application via the Municipal website, Chatham-Kent officials said.

“Being a member of the Wheatley Recovery Group and the partnership with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent has helped our community because we have been able to identify needs, collect and distribute goods, and connect people who don’t know where to turn,” Kim Little, Treasurer, Wheatley BIA and Wheatley Recovery Group Member, said in a media release.

As part of ongoing co-ordination efforts for residents, Employment and Social Services will be relocating municipal case managers to the Wheatley Village Resource Centre and Food Bank.

As of Sept. 20, the reception centre at the Wheatley Arena will relocate to the Wheatley Village Resource Centre and Food Bank at 108 Talbot St. E. Case managers will be on site to assist evacuees with housing, food, and other support services. This service will operate Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. next week.

Evacuees may also call 519-351-8573 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and ask to speak with a Wheatley crisis case manager for assistance with housing, food, and other support services.

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

Residents requiring general information should call 519-360-1998 1998 or 3-1-1 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The explosion occurred after gas detection alarms began sounding late afternoon on Aug. 26. Most of the immediate area had been evacuated when it took place.

It followed on the heels of the detection of hydrogen sulphide gas in that area in June and again in July.

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