Governor Announces State of Emergency For Merrimack Valley

Governor Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency for the communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts, saying he is not satisfied by the recovery efforts made by Columbia Gas, in response a series of horrific gas explosions Friday night. Eversource is now in charge of recovery efforts.

"I certainly believe, at this point, it's in the best interest of the people of Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover for us to get a new team leading this effort, and for us to be in a position to do that through the declaration of an emergency," Baker said.

The governor stressed accountability on Twitter, alluding to those who may be found, in any way, responsible for the cause of the incident, or those who may have underperformed in their recovery efforts, thereafter. “Once utilities secure the affected areas, we will work with the federal government to investigate how this occurred and hold people accountable for their actions,” he said.

The Office of Governor Charlie Baker released the following statement regarding the State of Emergency declared for the situation in LawrenceAndover and North Andover.

Governor Baker declared a state of emergency this afternoon authorizing the Chairman of the Department of Public Utilities to authorize Eversource to take management control over the coordinated effort to safely restore utility services in South Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

PHOTO: Getty Images

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