Chris Vandenbreekel, a London native who works for Mix 103.7 is planning to return the city.
Vandenbreekel was living with his in-laws in Guelph and coming to London to regroup before heading back to Alberta.
“The question was when,” Vandenbreekel said. “I was just talking to my higher-ups and talking about what needed to be done. It was determined that the best case scenario was that I go back on Sunday to ramp up our news coverage in the region.”
The news anchor and reporter wants to get back and cover human stories on the individuals doing what they can in the area rather than simply focusing on social media updates.
“It is more of just a waiting game. People just want the nightmare to be over,” Vandenbreekel said.
Vandenbreekel said his apartment is expected to have suffered smoke damage but the structure is still standing since it resided in the downtown core. However, the transmitter located on the outskirts of the city may be damaged.
“The critical infrastructure is still there, it is just a matter of getting back and when,” Vandenbreekel said.
After seeing the devastation on screens, he stated that his return to the city will be hard.
“I’m not looking forward to that experience. I know it’s going to be very emotional for me, especially the street I live on. That will be tough to see,” Vandenbreekel said. “There is a little bit of survivors guilt going on for some folks of the destroyed neighborhoods if your building is still standing. You feel bad because people have lost everything while your building is still standing.”
Officials have not released an approximate date for when residents can make a safe return to the city.