FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, Oct. 1, 2018
Media contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Town of Andover Provides Update on Gas Emergency Recovery Process
ANDOVER –The Town of Andover wishes to provide residents and business owners with several key updates regarding the town’s ongoing recovery and restoration efforts following last month’s Merrimack Valley Gas Emergency.
Town officials will continue to provide regular updates as they’re made available.
Columbia Gas has provided the Town of Andover with a construction schedule that outlines when gas line repair work will occur, with the goal of making streets and homes “gas ready.”
In order for gas service to be restored, homes must be both house ready, with assessments done and in-home repairs complete, and gas ready, with main gas lines and home service lines replaced, and new meters installed.
The preliminary maps below indicate the timeline for when work will begin to make streets gas ready. These maps are subject to change.
The Essex County Community Foundation announced today that the application process will open on Wednesday, Oct. 3 for residents and businesses seeking funding and services from the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund.
The Fund –– established by Governor Charlie Baker, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, and Andover and North Andover Town Managers Andrew Flanagan and Andrew Maylor on Sept. 18 –– was opened with a $10 million contribution from Columbia Gas and fundraising efforts continue by ECCF. Donations raised by ECCF’s Lawrence Emergency Fund are being combined towards this humanitarian relief effort. One hundred percent of these funds, currently over $10.85 million, will support the relief efforts and those who have been directly affected by this tragedy.
Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 3, the application process for the Fund’s financial resources will be open and those in the impacted area may apply in three ways, all of which are available in both English and Spanish:
- Online at www.GLDRF.org (link will be live October 3, this is the fastest and easiest way to apply)
- Over the phone by dialing 2-1-1, for those who cannot apply online
- In person for anyone in need of assistance at Andover’s drop-in center.
Old Town Hall – 20 Main Street, Andover
Wednesday, Oct. 3 – Noon – 8:00pm
Thursday, Oct. 4 – Noon – 8:00pm
Friday, Oct. 5 – Noon – 8:00pm
Saturday, Oct. 6 – 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 7 – Closed
Monday, Oct. 8 – Closed
Tuesday, Oct. 9 – Noon – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 10 – Noon – 8 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 11 – Noon – 8 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 12 – Noon – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 13 – 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
While residents and businesses are encouraged to apply online, they will be notified within 3-5 business days regarding the status of their application regardless of which method they use to apply for assistance.
Resources from the Fund will support the short and long-term shelter and sustenance needs of the more than 10,000 household units and businesses affected by the 7,500 Columbia Gas meters on the low-pressure lines in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. Thousands of residents and businesses in these communities have been without gas since Sept. 13, when gas fires and explosions from over-pressurized gas lines destroyed homes and neighborhoods.
A complete restoration of gas service will be complete by Nov. 19.
Volunteers are needed to support this application process and the Drop-In locations. To find out more about volunteer roles needed:
- Andover, North Andover or South Lawrence sites: visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/GLDRFVolunteer
For more information about the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund and the process to apply for financial resources, please visit www.eccf.org/GLDisasterReliefFund.
For the most up to date information from Columbia Gas on the streets where assessment teams will be deployed, click here.
Columbia Gas has released a Frequently Asked Questions document in order to help residents learn more about the assessment process.
The assessment will include the following steps:
- First, the assessors will evaluate and inventory gas-fueled appliances. Specifically, representatives will evaluate the furnace or boiler for repairs and inventory for replacement of gas water heaters and all other gas-fueled appliances. Photos will be taken so that Columbia Gas can replace gas-fueled appliances with like kind and quality appliances.
- Second, Columbia Gas will pressure test in-home gas piping to see if it is damaged.
- Finally, if a resident has not yet had a space heat assessment, an assessment of the electrical capacity of the home will be performed. If the home has the electrical capacity to safely support a space heater, the assessment teams will provide one during the visit. If needed, Columbia will install smoke alarms/CO detectors.
A total of 2,038 gas meters are in the affected zone in Andover.
Andover will deploy town resources each day to support the assessment effort and assist residents.
Small Business Loan Program
Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor and Andover Town Manager Flanagan late last week announced a $1 million emergency loan program for businesses impacted by the gas emergency.
The fund will offer emergency loans to eligible businesses with no payments and no interest for the first six months. For businesses that extend beyond a six month period, market rates will apply and loans will be able to be extended or restructured for multi-year term loans.
The fund opened Oct. 1, and has an expedited application and approval process, with the goal of getting all applications processed within 24 and 48 hours.
For more information visit: www.wearelawrence.org/lawrencegasresponsebusiness.
Attorney General Hotline
Attorney General Maura Healey’s office has established a hotline for those with questions and concerns. Residents and business owners may contact the Attorney General’s new hotline at 617-573-5370 in order to connect with specialists in the office who are able to handle questions about legal representation, home improvement scams, and insurance claims from homeowners, renters, and local businesses.