LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) - State and local officials gathered together to brief the public on the aftermath of the gas explosions that rocked the towns of Lawrence, Andover and Noth Andover Thursday.
Governor Baker and several town officials addressed the media and the public around 9 p.m. from the parking lot of Showcase Cinemas in Lawrence to keep them updated on the latest concerns facing the affected neighborhoods.
Baker said that the main issues now were making sure that everyone who had to leave their homes has a safe place to go and ensuring that homes are safe to re-enter now that the towns are without power.
“There is no expectation as of right now that people will be able to get back into their houses this evening,” Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera said. “So if you’re out of your house, stay away from the properties until we can make it safe for everyone.”
The governor confirmed that first-responders were no longer responding to calls of explosions.
However, they are still dealing with the remnants of those fires by checking hot spots in homes that were affected by the explosions.
From the staging area, officials stated that they were concerned about looting.
The City of Lawrence has issued a bulletin to residents who are being evacuated due to a massive gas emergency.
South Lawrence residents, made up of everyone who lives south of the river, are being ordered to evacuate the area and go to one of the three designated Evacuation Assembly Points.
The EAP points are:
- Mount Vernon Ball Park on Mt. Vernon Street
- The South Common at Osgood and Salem streets
- The Everett Street Boat Ramp on Everett Street
Shelters have been set up at Lawrence High School, Parthum Elementary School, and Arlington School
Officials from Columbia Gas are on the scene investigating what could have caused these explosions. They were not available for comment during the preliminary press conference.
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