The cold temperatures that moved into the Merrimack Valley Thursday night froze water tanks in nearly two dozen travel trailers, forcing at least one family to pack up and go home to a house without heat and hot water.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said Friday that the pipes froze in 19 trailers at five sites in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.
Officials said the frozen tanks stopped dirty water from draining and prevented clean water from coming out of the tap.
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“It kind of sucks,” said Jose Grullon, who’s living in a temporary trailer in Lawrence with his wife and young children. “It’s getting worse, and it’s going to get worse and worse. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s not a comfortable situation.”
North Andover town manager Andrew Maylor said Friday that he’s asked MEMA to shut down the trailer camps by Dec. 2. He said he’s asked that displaced families be moved to either hotels or apartments.
“It’s not logical that that was the intention. They’re not meant to be permanent housing,” he said. “I’m just concerned that those units aren’t intended to hold people safely beyond that date.”
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera’s office said Friday that there are plans to either scale down or dismantle the trailer camps.
MEMA said it has installed new equipment to prevent pipes in the trailers from freezing in the future.