FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Town of Andover Provides Update on Restoration Process Following 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 the Merrimack Valley Gas Emergency.
Massachusetts State Senate to Hold Hearings on Gas Disaster
The Massachusetts State Senate has scheduled two oversight hearings of its own next month. The first hearing will be held on Dec. 4 in Boston, while the second will be held in the Merrimack Valley on Dec. 17.
Earlier this week, the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, led by Sen. Edward J. Markey, held a field hearing in Lawrence to demand answers on behalf of the affected communities and hold those responsible to account.
Restoration Timeline and Claims
The “House Ready” process is expected to be completed between Dec. 2 and Dec. 16, and a Rapid Re-light process has been implemented that will result in gas service being restored ahead of Dec. 2.
A total of 93 percent of Andover residents and 95 percent of business customers who lost gas service have had their service restored as of Sunday.
A total of 113 Andover residents remain without gas service at this time, with 465 total residential customers remaining without gas in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence.
Columbia Gas releases a daily briefing with updates on the progress of the restoration effort. Click here to read the briefing for Dec. 2.
Hot water heaters, stoves and dryers will be replaced and boilers and furnaces will be safely repaired or replaced with those being repaired eventually being replaced beginning in the spring.
Columbia Gas has received nearly 5,000 claims from Andover residents and business owners and has paid out $22.1 million to Andover gas customers as of Sunday.
If any resident or business owner in the affected area experiences frozen pipes, they are urged to call the Columbia Gas emergency hotline at 800-525-8222.
Free Parking Downtown
The Town of Andover will not collect parking fees at municipal parking lots through Dec. 30. The Town encourages downtown visitors to park in the municipal parking lots. This includes Lot 1 (between Andover Village Square and Caffé Nero), Lot 2 (behind Old Town Hall) and Lot 3 (Park Street Village).
Save the Date: Holiday Happenings Dec. 7
Andover will celebrate its annual Holiday Happenings event on Friday, Dec. 7 from 4-8 p.m. The event will feature a variety of activities, including photos with Santa, carnival and train rides, shopping, dining, fireworks and more.
The event will be held across a variety of locations throughout downtown, including Old Town Hall, Memorial Hall Library, Andover Historical Society, Center at Punchard and the park at Chesnut and Bartlet Street.
Festivities will take place throughout Main Street and the Park at Town Hall. The Park will host food vendors, a carousel ride, entertainment and the tree lighting. This year, additional activities will take place on Main Street including photos with Santa at Old Town Hall, carnival rides, live music coordinated by the Free Christian Church, Roaming Railroad train rides, a holiday stilt walker, along with shopping and dining at many downtown shops and restaurants.
The disposal of condemned or replaced appliances is part of the recovery and restoration process. Your appliances will be removed and picked up by Columbia Gas or its contractors. Residents and business owners should not endure any cost for disposing of appliances.
Information for Landlords and Tenants
Attorney General Maura Healey’s office has released information for landlords and tenants affected by the Merrimack Valley Gas Emergency, which can be viewed in full here.
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.
As of Sunday, 91 Andover residents (down from more than 500 last week) were being lodged in alternate housing arrangements, including apartments and hotels.