Leamington to help residents living near Wheatley blast site

Crews work to remove debris from the site of an explosion in Wheatley on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. (Photo by Millar Hill)

The municipalities of Leamington and Chatham-Kent will use information as Wheatley picks up the pieces of an explosion last month.

Representatives from both communities met on Tuesday to discuss how they could work together following the blast that devastated a portion of Wheatley’s downtown area on August 26th.

“I am very pleased that our colleagues in Leamington are working with the CK team to conduct this important outreach to our neighbours and communities,” said Chatham-Kent Fire Chief Chris Case. “It is this kind of collaboration that helps us keep each other safe.”

Over the next few days, officials from both communities will contact Leamington residents who live within a one-kilometre radius of the explosion site.

Leamington Fire Department members will go door-to-door to help residents with emergency plans and update residents’ contact information with Leamington Alerts, the municipality’s emergency alert system, should any future evacuations become necessary. Contact information will be left at homes when people are not home.

Leamington Fire Chief Andrew Baird said it does not hurt to be ready should the need arise.

“We are asking Leamington residents who live within a one-kilometre radius of the Wheatley explosion site to prepare an emergency kit for their family in the event further evacuations are necessary,” said Baird. “We also ask that if you have not already done so, to register to our Leamington Alerts system so we can provide you with critical information quickly.”

An emergency kit should consist of food, water, personal documents and ID, medications, and anything else deemed essential should you and your family be asked to leave your home. The kit should also include a plan for your pets.

Crews continue to look for the source of the gas leak that caused the explosion.