Following a series of fires and gas explosions in Massachusetts, the gas utility is stepping up for recovery efforts. Earlier this month, a gas line became over-pressurized, causing explosions and fires in the City of Lawrence and Towns of Andover and North Andover. More than 8,000 homes were evacuated and one person died.
In the aftermath of the explosions, Columbia Gas employees turned off nearly 8,600 impacted meters. According to its recovery plan, the utility aims to have service restored to all homes and workplaces by November 19, replace and upgrade appliances and other natural gas equipment damaged in customers’ homes and businesses, and bring immediate help to people who need it most.
Today, 60 Columbia Gas and contracted construction teams will begin a massive replacement program to ultimately replace the 48-mile distribution system with state-of-the-art infrastructure and safety features such as excess flow valves that automatically shut off gas flow if a service line is damaged or broken.
Later this week, teams will begin deployment to every impacted residence or business to do a full assessment and determine what appliances need to be replaced or repaired. This assessment will help prepare customers to have gas service restored safely.