Gas Explosion Disaster – Residents Allowed Back Home
9.16.2018 Eversource and Columbia Gas crews worked through the night to shut off gas meters and make sure buildings were clear of natural gas. As of 6:00 a.m., Sunday all residences/buildings have been cleared. Residents are allowed back into their homes as of 7:00 a.m.
Most residents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover will be allowed to return to their homes.
National Grid and Eversource have restored power to all but about 4,000 customers in the area and expect to have all but 90 restored by 8:00 a.m. and will have everyone restored by mid-day.
If a customer smells an odor of natural gas, they should leave the area immediately, move to a safe location and call 911 and our emergency number at 1-800-525-8222.
If a customer smells an odor of natural gas:
- Don’t turn off gas to your house or to any appliances.
- Don’t try to find the leak yourself or operate pipeline valves.
- Don’t light a match or candle, or operate anything that could cause a spark, including home phones or cell phones, lights, appliances, flashlights, power tools, etc.
- Don’t open the windows and doors in an attempt to ventilate.
A full complement of crews remain in the area throughout neighborhoods to assist residents as they return to their homes and answer any questions they may have about gas safety.
Columbia Gas has increased staffing levels in anticipation of elevated levels of calls as residents return home.
For Customers in the Affected Area
Next, Phase II: Assuring the safety of the gas system in the area.
Phase III: Crews will check appliances for any issues.
Phase IV: Restoring gas service to each of the 8,600 meters.
For Customers Outside of the Affected Area
We understand that customers other than those directly affected by the incident had natural gas service turned off or turned their own gas service off as a precaution. We are now working to turn gas back on to those customers. Please call us at 1-866-388-3239 and we will add your property to the list to restore your service ASAP.
If you’re not sure if your property is on the list or not, please call us at 1-866-388-3239.
We’re here to support the communities and state government, ensure public safety and restore service as quickly and as safely as possible. We commit to keep all stakeholders updated regularly with clear and open communications throughout the process.
We take the safety of our systems seriously and maintain and operate our systems at the highest standards.
Our top priority is the safety of the public, Eversource and Columbia Gas customers and our employees.
We helped 180 families in our Property Claims Center yesterday, which is moving today to the High School Learning Center, 58 Lawrence Street. Hours of operation are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekdays. Keep track of your receipts and expenses so you can be reimbursed, as well as any claims for child care, lost wages and lost food. We appreciate your patience as long lines are expected, and we are focused on helping as many families as possible.