Friday, September 14, 2018


SUBJECT: Update: Gas Line Explosions - North Andover/Andover/Lawrence

 SITUATION Response operations related to the gas line explosions that occurred in the communities of Andover, North Andover and Lawrence will continue through the night and into tomorrow. Local, state and federal public safety partners continue to coordinate the response mission with the focus being on public safety. The Command Post/Fire Mobilization Staging Area at Showcase Cinema located at RT. 114/ I- 495 in Lawrence MA will remain activated throughout the early morning hours.

In terms impacts to all three communities, there was a reported total of 3 explosions and 60 to 80 home/structural fires. Additionally, 25 people were transported to hospital for related injuries. One fatality has been confirmed.

Due to the emergency situation in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, the Governor has directed that state offices in those communities should be closed today tomorrow, September 14, 2018. Unless already notified, non-emergency Executive Branch employees who live or work in those communities should not report to their workplaces.


· Due to ongoing safety concerns, as a precaution evacuated residents in all three impacted communities have been advised by local town/public safety officials not to return home unless advised to do so or told that the area has been cleared/deemed safe.
· Public schools will be closed today (Friday) in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence
· Law enforcement is conducting door to door notifications in all three communities inform residents that the area/home is unsafe.
· Andover EOC will remain activated overnight.


· National Grid remains on scene.
· Columbia Gas remains on scene and has 80 service technicians deployed to all three communities to begin the process of inspecting 8,000 gas meters.
· At this time, there is no indication of when all impacted structures will be deemed habitable. No re-entry time has been determined.

Power Outages for Andover, North Andover and Lawrence (as of 1:47 AM)
· Andover: 38% without power.
· North Andover: 16 % without power.
· Lawrence: 35% without power.


Verizon reports the following information:
· The network is performing well overall.
· Expect to lose a site in Shawsheen Village in Andover during the overnight hours as the batteries run out (this is a roof- top site with commercial power and natural gas generator).
· Because of overlapping coverage, Verizon is not expecting any significant communications impact at this time. Coverage in North Andover and Andover remains strong.

As of 11: 50 PM (09/13/18) MassDOT reported the following transportation impacts:
· Off ramps along I-495 and I-93 in the area remain closed (details below); on ramps remain open.
· Highway, MBTA and Aeronautics are assisting with VMS, arrow boards, light towers, buses, drones and other assistance.
· MassDOT and MBTA representatives are on scene at the incident command post at Showcase Cinemas in Lawrence.

Facility and Systems Status:
· RMV Service Centers: Area power shutdown continues to affect RMV Lawrence Service Center.
· Governor has directed closure of state facilities in the affected communities.

Highway Impacts:
Highway continues to coordinate closely with MSP and is maintaining a number of highway off-ramp closures in the affected area, including:

Transit Impacts:
· Haverhill Line commuter rail trains will operate only between Reading & North Station on Friday.
· Buses will run from Haverhill & Bradford to Anderson/Woburn for inbound service on the Lowell Line. Service on the Lowell or Newburyport Lines is suggested as an alternative.
· Highway District 3 is providing 6 VMS, 3 arrow boards, and 3 light towers
· Highway District 4 is providing 13 VMS, 11 arrow boards, and 5 light towers
· Highway District 5 is providing 6 light towers
· Highway District 6 is providing 2 cone trucks, 2 VMS, 2 arrow boards, 2 light towers
· Highway has also facilitated deployment of contracted assets, including 7 light towersMBTA is providing 12 buses and a mobile radio car; TPD provided escort
· MassDOT Aeronautics is standing by to provide aerial situational awareness support via two advanced drones; team plans to deploy to Lawrence Airport in early AM and will coordinate with MSP and other responders.
· MassDOT Aeronautics also has drone data post-processing capabilities that will be offered to responders.

Mass feeding:
All communities have reported no mass feeding issues at the emergency shelters. Each emergency shelter is coordinating with the Salvation Army and ARC regarding meal plans for breakfast.
Emergency Sheltering:
The following local emergency shelters are open:
· North Andover High School, 430 Osgood St, North Andover MA
o North Andover Animal Control Officer is coordinating household pet sheltering for residents with pets.
· Arlington Middle School, 150 Arlington St, Lawrence MA
· Cormier Youth Center, 40 Whitter Court, Andover MA
· Partham Middle School , 55 East Haverhill St, Lawrence MA
· St Mary’s Church, 300 Hampshire St, Lawrence MA
Additionally, a few elderly residents are being sheltered overnight at Andover Senior Center, 30 Whitter Court, Andover MA.

The MDPH Department Operations Center (DOC) has de-activated.

At this time, the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains at Level II (Partial Activation). MEMA will continue to monitor the incident and will disseminate Situational Awareness Statements as necessary.

Stay Informed:
Utilize Massachusetts Alerts to receive emergency notifications and information from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service. Massachusetts Alerts is a free app that is available for Android and iPhones.

To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit:

Utilize MEMA’s real-time power outage viewer to stay informed about current power outages in your community and region, and across the state, including information from utility companies about restoration times:

Utilize MEMA’s live weather radar and forecasting tools: