Restoration efforts continue in the Merrimack Valley

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – On Friday gas leaks displaced more than 400 people in the Merrimack Valley.

At about 4 a.m. on Friday Columbia Gas officials found a leak in a high-pressure line releasing gas in what they call the “explosive range.”

Residents in that area were told to evacuate immediately, and Monday they’re still trying to return to a sense of normalcy.

The evacuees were told to gather at a Red Cross shelter in Lawrence on Friday. Many people were able to return home that evening, but 31 families had to stay in hotels overnight.

According to a statement from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and Columbia Gas, Contractors working for the city are to blame for the incident.

They allege the contractors mistakenly closed a gas valve while checking water valves to prepare for a road paving project.

Governor Baker commented on the incident that came just 2 weeks after the 1 year anniversary of the deadly Merrimack Valley Explosions.

“I am enormously frustrated that the people of Lawrence are having to go through yet another example of a failure of the gas system somewhere in their community.”

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

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