On Friday, housing assistance was offered to the Merrimack Valley explosion victims who are still without heat and hot water following last month’s events in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover.
Governor Charlie Baker along with Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Columbia Gas, and Lawrence, Andover and North Andover community officials have rolled out a plan to supply those displaced with warm shelter and hot water through the use of more than 3,000 hotels, 150 available apartments, 360 travel trailers and shelters.
"We are pleased to announce housing options, especially for our most vulnerable residents, to make this recovery process a little easier and provide essential services as the days get cooler," Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement.
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Customers who called in on Friday were placed in apartments and hotels. Travel trailers will be available in the coming days, according to NECN.
Aside from housing, the Baker administration and supporting organizations have also organized transportation for Merrimack Valley explosion victims without vehicles who may need assistance via Uber and Lyft services.
Alternative housing is being made available to @ColumbiaGasMA customers impacted by the 9/13 gas line incident who choose not to stay in their homes during restoration efforts.— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) October 5, 2018
Interested customers should call Columbia Gas’ claims line: 1-800-590-5571 | https://t.co/NqDq6eyrBT pic.twitter.com/Hfy3Fn8HoE
More than 8,000 residents were displaced from their homes last month after a major gas explosion rocked the Merrimack Valley. Crews are currently working to restore 48 miles of pipelines through Nov. 19.
Many are still without heat and water like Lawrence resident Helen Morcelo of Lawrence who is not only dealing with the inconvience of the explosion, but trying to care for her 86-year-old father who has cancer.
"I'm like, why, what can I do just wait," Morcelo asked after she was added to the waiting list for housing this past Friday.