Columbia Gas customers frustrated with lack of answers following explosions, fires

NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. (WHDH) - Columbia Gas customers affected by the wave of gas explosions and fires Thursday are frustrated with the lack of answers from the company.

Columbia Gas representatives met with customers in Andover Friday but provided little information.

“We don’t have any answers right now,” a representative said. “I wish I did.”

Chris Allen, an Andover resident, says the lack of responses makes planning for family members and pets more difficult.

“My mother is in her 90s. I have to make plans for her. She lives with us. We have to make plans for pets,” she said. “It would be nice to be able to have enough information so that we can take care of those parts of our lives.”

Columbia Gas representatives are going to the homes of the 8,600 affected customers throughout the three Merrimack Valley communities.

“We are focused on providing as much support as possible to our customers, residents and communities,” the company said in a statement. “We are grateful for the community’s patience, as well as the tremendous support we have received from our first responder and law enforcement partners.”

RELATED: ‘Like a war zone’: 1 dead, dozens injured after gas explosions rock Merrimack Valley

The company expects this will be an extended restoration effort but did not provide an exact timeline.

They urge customers who shut off their gas meter on their own to not turn the service back on.

If a customer smells an odor of natural gas, they should leave the area immediately, move to a safe location and call 911 and Columbia Gas’ emergency number at 1-800-525-8222.

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