With emergency crews back on-site in downtown Wheatley following the detection of hydrogen sulfide gas, the Municipality has declared another state of emergency.

It’s the second time in less than two months, following a similar gas leak on June 2nd that forced residents and business owners from their properties for over two weeks.

This time around, a total of 52 people from 23 homes and 13 businesses have been affected.

Mayor of Chatham-Kent Darrin Canniff says the lands in Wheatley between Elm Street to the North, Talbot Road East to the South (including lands immediately abutting the south side of Talbot Road East), Little Street to the East and Erie Street North to the West have been evacuated and the public is asked to avoid the area.

Although there is currently no detection of gas at the location, officials say 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.