NORTH ANDOVER (CBS) – Residents displaced from their homes after gas explosions in their neighborhoods met outside Town Hall on Saturday looking for answers and updates.
They waited to find out when they can go home.
Erika Rivera said she wants to know “when I am able to go back home and also I have medications to retrieve.”
Things were far from normal on Saturday as hundreds of homes and businesses were still without gas or electricity.
“It’s very frustrating with no electricity because we can’t operate,” said Ed Antonelli of North Andover Music Academy.
On Saturday, utility crews went door-to-door to make sure gas lines are completely shut off in impacted areas.
“They physically inspect the residence, they go in with gas detector to make sure there is no gas leaking then they will lock out the gas,” said Jeff Coco, North Andover’s director of emergency management.
For those who remain home, generators are going full throttle while shelters get inundated with donations. People have donated food, towels, diapers, baby formula and other necessary items.
Some residents said they’re grateful to have shelter and assistance during the emergency.
“It’s been very positive. I have met some great people in town that I would not have met in other ways,” said Desiree McDonough, who has been at the North Andover High School shelter for three days.
The American Red Cross has set up four shelters in the area. For many, Saturday was the third day they’ve been outside their home, but they made the most of it by volunteering their time and organizing the donations.
“I organize and I clean, mostly, and I just talk to other residents,” said McDonough.