Wheatley evacuation zone to be reduced as of Monday

Site of explosion in Wheatley, Ont. still barricaded off and evacuated on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. (Chris Campbell/CTV Windsor)

More Wheatley residents and business owners will be able to access their properties Monday as the emergency site has been further reduced, nine months after the downtown explosion.

Municipality of Chatham-Kent officials said in a news release work has progressed to allow further reduction to the emergency area. Fences will be moved for some properties along Talbot Road.

Properties along Talbot Rd. that are outside the area identified in purple, yellow and red on the below map will be accessible as of Monday.

Officials are advising property owners there will be orders placed on their buildings from the Chief Building Official. The Chief Building Official will be rescinding the orders on each property once Municipal Water (PUC), Electrical Authority (ESA) and Natural Gas (Enbridge) have been reinstated by the utility and an inspection by Building Development Services has taken place.

Once utilities are reconnected, property owners are to call 311 and ask to be connected to building development services to schedule an inspection. It is expected the inspection will be completed within 24 hours of receiving the request, officials said.

Officials said operations on APEC 3 well are also underway and will continue through the weekend.

A conductor pipe will be driven over the original well. Residents may notice hammering sounds that are different from the work that was done on the APEC 2 well.