Crews in Merrimack Valley installing new pipes, inspecting homes and businesses

LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) - Dozens of work crews are venting pipes and going door-to-door to inspect houses and businesses as hundreds of people in the Merrimack Valley are still living without gas following a disaster earlier this month.

While some utility crews working in Andover, Lawrence, and North Andover are busy marking gas lines, other crews are installing miles of new pipe. Some crews, including National Guardsmen, are going door-to-door and street-to-street, assessing the damage from the gas disaster.

It’s been nearly two weeks since a series of terrifying gas explosions and fires rocked the region, claiming one life and injuring dozens. Now, the work to replace 48 miles of pipe by Nov. 19 if shifting into high gear.

But colder weather isn’t far off, and for residents receiving space heaters, inspectors need to make sure their homes can handle them.

Residents tell 7News that their patience is starting to wear thin, but admit there aren’t a lot of options at the moment.

“We have a 2-month-old and a 17-month old, so we have to keep them in the same place to warm them up a little,” Zoed Ayala said.

The in-home assessments will continue for the days ahead while crews work to dig up the old pipe and replace it with new piping.

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