LAWRENCE (CBS) — The National Guard delivered electric hot plates door-to-door in Lawrence to the homes still without gas services on Saturday. Some homes and businesses may not have gas until Nov. 19, when Columbia Gas is expected to finish the restoration work needed after a gas pipeline burst last week.
Massachusetts National Guardsmen and Columbia Gas workers loaded up trucks and then delivered the hot plates to residents.
Residents said they’re grateful.
“It’s a great day because I can finally cook some food, with this iron burner, so I am very excited. Still kind of cold without the heat and water. Cold showers,” said Jennifer DeJesus of Lawrence.
“I appreciate this,” one man said.
Amber Cook, a mother of four, said she’d grateful for the help.
“I’m just happy. I have four kids upstairs so with them helping, being to be able to cook for my kids, is a big thing,” Cook said.
Anyone without gas or impacted by the gas explosions was able to receive a hot plate.
“They have electricity. People are home. They’re safe, but they don’t have a way to cook, so we are going to deal with that today,” said Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera.
Massachusetts National Guard Adjunct Gen. Gary Keefe said the effort is “neighbors helping neighbors.”
“Although we are wearing a uniform, these are our neighbors, these are our family members and we are here to help them. That’s one of the missions we in the Guard really love doing,” Keefe said.
According to Gov. Charlie Baker, about 7,000 hot plates will be delivered through those in need. Throughout the week, space heaters will follow.
Columbia Gas will ultimately have to replace 48 miles of pipeline in the area.
According to the Associated Press, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue says it will waive all penalties associated with taxes due between Sept. 12 and Oct 2 for taxpayers in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover.