Sept. 26–Across Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, 13,512 claims have been filed to Columbia Gas for lost property and damages in the wake of the Sept. 13 natural gas disaster, according to a statement from Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera’s office.
Gas service to 8,570 gas meters in portions of all three communities remains off as a result of the gas explosions and fires. Most buildings serviced by these meters are without heat and hot water. Gas appliances, including gas stoves and gas dryers, are inoperable.
The target date for full restoration of gas service is Nov. 19.
Columbia Gas has announced that nearly 50 miles of pipeline will be replaced. The construction work to replace those lines has begun.
Approximately 652 of 301,334 feet of main line pipe has been replaced and service lines to 32 of 6,100 residential units has been replaced, according to information released by Rivera’s office.
On Sept. 22, Columbia Gas, supported by the National Guard, began delivering electric hot plates to its customers in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. Over the weekend, 5,250 hot plates had been delivered door-to-door to customers in Lawrence; 750 to customers in North Andover; and 812 to customers in Andover.
Customers in Andover and North Andover who want a hot plate should call 855-218-8816 to schedule delivery. Customers in Lawrence who were not home at the time of delivery can call this number, too.
The National Guard is also assisting in delivering space heaters door-to-door to South Lawrence residents. As of Monday Sept. 24, 64 heaters had been delivered, according to information from Rivera’s office.
In the immediate aftermath of the fires and explosions Sept. 13th, many gas customers in Lawrence, North Andover, Andover, Methuen and Haverhill who were not on the impacted gas line had their meters/service shut off out of an abundance of caution.
In total, approximately 10,436 meters that are not fed by the impacted gas line were shut off. Gas company crews have substantially completed the work of turning on the gas to these meters and fully restoring gas service to the homes and businesses that are fed by these meters
Utilizing the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, the states of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and New York have entered into agreements with MEMA to deploy state pipeline inspectors to Massachusetts to support the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities in its work inspecting the pipeline construction in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said in addition to five engineers with the state’s Department of Public Utilities, five additional inspectors from New York are currently in the Merrimack Valley overseeing restoration efforts.
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