Columbia Gas Purges Gas in North Andover, Mass., Pedestrians Detoured - NECN
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Columbia Gas Purges Gas in North Andover, Mass., Pedestrians Detoured

The gas purging is expected to last 12 hours, according to the North Andover Police Department

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    Columbia Gas Purges Gas in North Andover, Mass., Pedestrians Detoured
    Charles Krupa/AP
    Utility contractors dig up the road above natural gas lines along Dracut Street in Lawrence, Mass., Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. Nearly 9,000 homes and businesses may be without gas for weeks as investigators continue to probe what set off the explosions last Thursday in the Merrimack Valley area serviced by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts.

    Officials are urging caution for North Andover, Massachusetts residents Columbia Gas purges gas on Wednesday.

    The natural gas service, which provides service to the Merrimack Valley towns that were devastated by a series of explosions, said the purging will take place near the intersection of Waverly Road and 274 Waverly Road.

    North Andover’s Fire Chief was alerted of the plan and has a safety team present in response, according to the town’s police department. Pedestrians will be detoured to avoid the area.

    Police said the purging is expected to last 12 hours. The work is continuing Tuesday’s efforts to purge gas in the town.

    On Sept. 13, several explosions rattled the Merrimack Valley and caused fires to up to 80 homes in the area. One teenager was killed, 25 people were injured and approximately 8,600 residents were displaced as a result.

    In response to the tragedy, the National Guard handed out thousands of hot plates and space heaters to evacuees while crews work on replacing 48 miles of gas pipelines in the area by Nov. 19.

    Affected residents are able to apply for financial assistance from the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund as of Wednesday.

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