Wheatley Arena remains open, while Library closed


Any Wheatley residents impacted by last week's explosion can continue receiving information at the Wheatley Arena about things like food, accommodation, and other emergency needs.

April Rietdyk, Chatham Kent's General Manager of Community Human Services, says the centre will remain open as long as there is demand for its services.

"We are listening to the needs of those people affected and we're trying to do as much as we are able," she continued. "We now have an ATM activated and we've been providing assistance with access to food, toiletries, and clothing for those who had to evacuate."

Rietdyk says staff at the arena do not have information about the cause of the explosion or when evacuated residents can return.

"Our emergency services staff are in the process of making those evaluations. We are set up to help get people through while those determinations are made," she said.

15 households made up of 33 people have been placed in local hotels and motels by the municipality, which has also provided some form of assistance to more than 85 households since Friday. 

Many of the households displaced were able to find accommodations on their own, but for now officials say the arena will remain open between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

However the Chatham-Kent Public Library's Wheatley Branch, located in the evacuation zone, will remain closed until further notice.

As the outdoor book return at the Wheatley Branch is not accessible during this time, patrons may either use the Tilbury Branch to return materials/choose new materials, or hold on to checked out materials as overdue fines will not be charged during this time.