FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 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.
Andover residents still have the option to seek free alternative housing while their gas service remains offline. Housing options include apartments, hotels and temporary trailers, and are completely paid for by Columbia Gas.
Over 650 Andover residents had obtained alternate housing arrangements as of the end of the day on Oct. 21.
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.
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.
Columbia Gas will host a series of open house community meetings on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Andover, Lawrence, and North Andover as part of its ongoing engagement with communities affected by the Sept. 13 incident.
Each open house will feature various information stations with Columbia Gas representatives available to answer questions on topics including the claims process, alternate housing solutions, in-home assessments and installations, home and business re-lights, construction, billing, energy efficiency and gas safety. In addition, NiSource, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Joe Hamrock, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts President Steve Bryant, Chief Recovery Officer Joe Albanese and Chief Restoration Officer for Columbia Gas Pablo Vegas will visit each of the open house sessions to speak with members of the community and conduct a Q&A session on the project status. Local elected officials for each of the communities will be present.
The open houses are open to the public and are scheduled as follows. Community members are encouraged to attend whichever session works best with their schedule.
Saturday, October 27
Open House: 1 p.m.– 4 p.m.
Executive Q&A: 1 p.m.–2 p.m.
Doherty Middle School
50 Bartlet Street
Andover, MA 01810
Saturday, Oct. 27
Open House: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Executive Q&A: 8 a.m. – 9 a.m.
North Andover Senior Center
120 R Main Street
North Andover, MA 01845
Saturday, October 27
Open House: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Executive Q&A: 10 a.m.–11 a.m.
Lawrence High School
70-71 N Parish Road
Lawrence, MA 01843
Disaster Relief Fund Application Deadline
Essex County Community Foundation announced that the application deadline for support from its Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund is Nov. 5.
All eligible residents and businesses impacted by the Sept. 13 Columbia Gas fires in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover must file an application by that date to ensure they receive the current $550 stipend gift – and any future gift – being granted by the Fund. If you lost gas service as a result of the crisis, and it was not restored by Oct. 1, you may be eligible to apply.
The easiest way to apply is still online at www.GLDRF.org. Applications are also being accepted by calling 211 and by visiting an application drop-in center, though locations and drop-in center hours have changed, effective Oct. 22 – Nov. 9:
Hours and Locations for application drop-in centers for Oct. 22-Nov. 9
Andover/North Andover YMCA
165 Haverhill St., Andover
Monday: 4-6 p.m.
Tuesday: 4-6 p.m.
Wednesday: 4-6 p.m.
Thursday: 4-6 p.m.
Friday: 4-6 p.m.
* New applications will not be accepted after Nov. 5.
Residents should be aware that Columbia Gas has received reports of scams involving fake notes left for residents claiming to be left by the utility.