Thousands Remain Without Power Following Thursday's Gas-Fueled Explosions

There was still no power Friday night in North Andover, Massachusetts, following Thursday night’s gas-fueled explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley.

“Twenty-four hours later you can see we still have no power, no electricity. Pretty disappointed with the Columbia gas people,” said James Hassam, a North Andover resident.

John Melvidas says he can’t believe how many homes were destroyed by explosions or fire.

“We’re lucky we got away with nothing. We lost our power, we lost our gas, but these people in Lawrence and even here in North Andover,” he said.

Meantime, earlier in the morning, residents in North Andover begged Columbia Gas for information.

But the Columbia Gas workers on the street didn’t have any answers.

Instead they took down names and phone numbers to get back to residents.

Hassan said: “They actually ran away after questions were given to them. They ran into their vehicles and wouldn’t answer anymore.”

Officials are now warning residents not to turn the gas back on by themselves.

Crews must do that.

And they will be going block by block, house by house.

It could be Saturday or Sunday at the earliest that all gas service is shut off, and then after that, things can hopefully get back on line again.

If you don’t have anywhere to go, a shelter is set up in North Andover at the high school.

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