At least 20 stores at the Merrimack Premium Outlets will reopen Thursday after a rockslide punctured a gas line at the building Wednesday morning, forcing the shopping center to temporarily shut down.
According to the Merrimack Premium Outlets website, stores set to reopen first include Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Sperry, The Children’s Place, Vineyard Vines, Kate Spade New York, Loft Outlet, Tommy Hilfiger, and Under Armour.
Some people have mixed reactions to the shopping center reopening so quickly.
“It definitely is a good thing to recover fast, but I don’t know, just to make sure that stuff like that doesn’t happen again, [give it] time to assess it as necessary,” said former employee Gauri Menon.
Merrimack Fire responded to the shopping center just after 7 a.m. Wednesday for a gas leak. Upon arrival, they discovered that a rockslide to the rear of the mall had impacted the gas line. No injuries were reported, but the are was evacuated and gas to the building was shut off after crews arrived to find a strong odor emanating from the scene.
“Liberty Utilities believes that the rockslide actually damaged the underground gas line to the mall, so it was a significant gas leak,” said Merrimack Fire Lieutenant Chris Wyman. “Is it possible more (rock) could continue to slide? Yes. Is that something that we’re 100% sure of? We’re not.”
For much of the day, debris was blocking the area crews needed to access to make repairs.
“Until Liberty utilities is able to access that area and until its deemed safe, we wont know the extent of the damage,” Wyman said.
A SKY7 camera showed a massive pile of rocks had come crashing down and cut off the roadway running through the back of the outlets, pushing fencing all the way up to the structure’s wall.
There is no time frame yet for when all the stores will reopen.
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