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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Two Articles - Same Newspaper

 Article 1:September 19, 2018

S&P says Massachusetts reserves too thin to weather a recession


 

Gas disaster exposes problems with Merrimack Valley pipes

Gas disaster exposes problems with Merrimack Valley pipes

Experts call replacement timeline 'aggressive'

A natural gas expert called the two-month timeline proposed for replacing 48 miles of pipeline in the Merrimack Valley "extremely aggressive."

Mark McDonald, president of NatGas Consulting, said the plan to restore gas service by Nov. 19 to all homes and businesses across the three communities affected by the gas disaster was "unrealistic, wishful thinking."

"Weeks doesn't come into my realm of possibility," McDonald said. "It would take normally one to two years to aggressively replace that level of infrastructure."

Over-pressurization of gas lines on Sept. 13 triggered a series of explosions and fires across Lawrence, Andover and North Andover that killed an 18-year-old, injured several more and destroyed or damaged dozens of homes. The incident forced the shut-off of 8,600 gas meters in the affected area, plus the shutdown of thousands more as a precaution.

Service is being restored quickly to customers in the area that was not affected by the over-pressurization -- but restoring service in the affected zone is expected to take much longer. The pressure is on to restore gas flow, as homes grow colder by the night and businesses continue to lose money by the day.

The gas disaster exposes larger issues with the Merrimack Valley's aging utility infrastructure, an antiquated system that still includes century-old pipes prone to leaks.

Governor meets with merchants to plan support, with 100 Andover businesses closed due to gas disaster,

Governor meets with merchants to plan support, with 100 Andover businesses closed due to gas disaster,



Baker meets with Andover merchants
 
Speaking after a business meeting in Andover Wednesday morning are, from left, Gov. Charlie Baker, Andover Town Manager Andrew Flanagan and state Housing and Economic Development Director Jay Ash.