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Some residents, owners return to properties more than two weeks after gas leak in Wheatley

Some owners and residents have been allowed back in to their properties, but a state of emergency remains more than two weeks after officials detected a gas leak in Wheatley. 

State of emergency remains in place

All but two residents, business owners allowed back to their properties more than two weeks after gas detected in Wheatley. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

Some owners and residents have been allowed back in to their properties, but a state of emergency remains more than two weeks after officials detected a gas leak in Wheatley. 

In a news release Saturday, the city said that its technical experts have allowed most people to return back to their spaces, except for two properties: 15 Erie St. N. and 9 Talbot St.

"We are all anxious to see the community of Wheatley return to its vibrant state with businesses re-opened and residents back in their homes but based on the advice we have received, some further monitoring of two locations is required before we can move the whole community back out of a state of emergency," Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff said in a news release. 

The city said it will continue to work with the final two property owners to put gas monitoring in place before it ends the state of emergency. 

Officials said gas hasn't been detected in the area since June 4. 

People in the area had been displaced from their homes and businesses since June 2, when hydrogen sulfide — a highly toxic, flammable gas — was identified.

According to the municipality, 27 people and a number of businesses were ordered to leave the downtown area. The gas leak was first detected in the basement of a restaurant on Erie Street North.

Officials believed the gas may have been emanating from an abandoned well but crews could not identify the source.

All owners and residents were asked to attend the Resource Centre at the Wheatley Area, located at 196 Erie St. N., on Saturday. The city said residents were able to pick up an information package, resources and get assistance from emergency services as to their proper re-entry. 

Those re-entering their properties are subject to an inspection by emergency services personnel. 

Gift cards were also available for residents to replace food that went bad. 

Anyone who was unable to attend the Resource Centre on Saturday is asked to call (519) 350-2956 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday. 

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