ANDOVER (CBS) – Nearly nine months after the Merrimack Valley Explosions, frustrations are still high among some residents as Columbia Gas continues the restoration process.

The incoming president of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts held an open house in Andover today to answer questions about the second phase of restoration.

The company is now moving to replace heating units that it only repaired in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

A gas explosion destroyed this home in Lawrence, Sept. 13, 2018. (WBZ-TV)

While the utility said it’s making good progress in clearing claims with residents, some in the audience were not satisfied.

“When I said couldn’t you just reimburse me for what I lost they said, we already gave you $40,000. Which is in the form of a furnace. That can’t help me pay my mortgage,” said Nancy Early Right, of Andover.

“In general speaking, what we try to do is we set up a process that complies with the state law of being fair, and equal to every customer. We have an escalation process in addition and under the escalation process if people don’t think we are fair to them, then they can escalate it, even going to a third party,” said Columbia Gas Massachusetts President Mark Kempic.

Columbia Gas said it’s in the process of replacing 900 heating units, along with property damaged during the fires.


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