FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Town of Andover Provides Update on Restoration and Recovery from Gas Emergency
ANDOVER — The Town of Andover continuously seeks to provide residents and business owners with key updates regarding the ongoing recovery and restoration efforts following last month’s Merrimack Valley Gas Emergency.
Columbia Gas has an interactive map that tracks the progress of the restoration effort. The map will give residents and business owners a real-time look at the local recovery process in their individual neighborhoods and help the gauge when crews will be on their streets to conduct assessments.
Columbia Gas provides a daily briefing that summarizes the restoration process. Click here to read today’s briefing.
Gas Ready Construction Plan
Columbia Gas has released its “Gas Ready Construction Plan” detailing plans and offering schedules for the restoration of service to thousands of affected gas customers in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence.
Over 37 miles of main line pipe has been replaced so far, according to Columbia Gas.
There are 35 construction crews working in Andover today, with 67 scheduled for each day from Monday through Wednesday.
House Ready Plan
Columbia Gas has released its “House Ready Plan”
House Ready and Assessment 72 Hour Schedule
Columbia Gas produces a schedule for the next 72 hours where teams will be conducting assessments on gas lines as well as appliances.
View the list for Andover here: https://www.columbiagas.com/massachusetts/restoration/house-ready/schedule#Andover
Claims Center Location Change
Beginning on Monday, Oct. 22, the Andover Claims Center located at Old Town Hall will move to 45 Main St. (the former location of Greater Boston Running Company). The Claims Center is open Monday through Friday, noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Additionally, the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund will be transitioning to new locations: The Andover/North Andover YMCA, Monday through Friday, 4-6 p.m. and the Lawrence Senior Center, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
So far, almost 4,500 claims have been submitted to Columbia Gas by Andover residents and businesses. Columbia Gas has paid out over $8.08 million to settle Andover-based claims.
After reports of inconsistencies on the scheduled “re-light” date for some users, Columbia Gas has temporarily disabled the Interactive Restoration Map on its website in order to make updates . Columbia Gas is working to repair the data errors and re-launch the map.
“Back to Business”
Columbia Gas has developed an integrated process to quickly restore business customers. The “Back-to-Business” initiative will assign a project manager to each business owner who will be responsible for addressing the businesses’ unique needs in order to make the business ready to receive natural gas. The project managers will proactively reach out to business owners to introduce themselves and will begin visiting businesses in the coming days.
Back to Business Centers
Under the direction of each project manager will be a fully integrated team including claims adjustors, plumbers, laborers and electricians to quickly restore business customers.
The “Back-to-Business” initiative’s integrated teams will work out of three business centers, located in each of the affected communities. These centers will serve as the operation center for construction operations managers, claims representatives and linguists, and will work to build customized plans for each business based on their assessed needs. While business owners will be hearing from their project manager proactively, these centers are open to the public should business owners choose to visit them during the claims and recovery process.
The locations of the “Back-to-Business” Centers are:
- 439 South Union St., Lawrence: Construction Operations Manager Derrick Seitz
- 45 Main St., Andover: Construction Operations Manager Jeff McCaples
- 115 South Main St., North Andover: Construction Operations Manager Charlie Romano
Starting on Thursday, October 18, the centers will be open from Tuesday to Friday from 12pm to 8pm and Saturdays from 8am to 2pm.
To view businesses in Andover that are located in the affected and are currently open for business visit: www.andoverma.gov/andoverbiz
Impacted Columbia Gas customers who choose to be placed in alternative housing while their homes are without gas should call Columbia Gas’ Claims line: 800-590-5571.
Transportation arrangements will be provided for residents staying in hotels and apartments who do not have their own means of transportation.
With temperatures beginning to drop on a more consistent basis, a congregate shelter has been established for those in need. It is capable of hosting up to 1,000 people and will have hot meals available. The shelter is located at 46 Stafford St., Lawrence.
The congregate shelter has been established as a warming center with showers, and can accommodate residents for short-term overnight stays.
Official hours for Trick-or-Treating are 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 31. All safety precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of the children and families out walking on Halloween.
With a sharp increase in foot traffic, motorists are urged to exercise extreme caution on Halloween. Speeding and traffic regulations will be vigorously enforced. The Andover Police Department will have increased patrols in town all evening to help ensure safety.