Press Statement

Press Statement Governor Baker Declares State of Emergency Regarding Incidents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover

  • Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Governor's Press Office
  • Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

Media Contact for Governor Baker Declares State of Emergency Regarding Incidents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover

Brendan Moss, Press Secretary, Governor's Office

Governor Baker in Lawrence with Mayor Dan Rivera, local town officials, and MEMA.

BOSTON — The Office of Governor Charlie Baker released the following statement regarding the State of Emergency declared: 

“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.”

Background: State law (G.L. c. 25, s. 4B) sets up a process for the chair of DPU to issue orders to any utility upon authorization of the Governor during a state of emergency in order to assure public safety through the priority restoration of service.

Resources for Residents

How to get information?

For emergencies, call 9-1-1.

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts

  • Property Claims Hotline – 1-800-590-5571
  • Dedicated Customer Service – 1-866-388-3239
  • Gas Emergency – 1-800-525-8222

Municipal Contact Information: 

Mass211 - If you need non-emergency assistance or information, call 2-1-1.

Safety Tips for Returning to an Affected Property

  • Even if your house is deemed safe to return, your gas and electrical services may not be restored yet.
  • When residents return to their homes, they are asked to be vigilant. If you smell gas or smoke, notice damage to gas appliances, or other potential emergency situations, step outside and call 9-1-1. Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working.
  • Do not attempt to use any gas appliances until gas service has been safely restored by the gas company.
  • If your gas meter has been shut off by either the gas company or you, DO NOT attempt to turn your service back on yourself. Please contact the gas company for assistance; they will send a technician to turn it back on.
  • If you smell an odor of natural gas,
    • Leave the building immediately and move to a safe location
    • Call 911 from outside the building and call the Columbia Gas emergency number at 1-800-525-8222.
    • Do not turn off gas to your house or to any appliances.
    • Do not try to find the leak yourself or operate pipeline valves.
    • Do not touch light switches or use any appliances that could cause a spark, including telephones.
    • Do not light matches or candles.

Recovery Resource Center

The Baker-Polito Administration announced updated location and hours for the Recovery Resource Center (RRC) for Wednesday September 19th, 2018. The RRC will continue to provide services and programs to meet the needs of residents of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover who were impacted by Thursday’s Columbia Gas line incident.

Wednesday, September 19, 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Elks Lodge, 652 Andover Street, Lawrence, MA

MEMA and the American Red Cross, working collaboratively with local officials, will coordinate the regional Recovery Resource Center to support disaster survivors.  Anyone impacted from Lawrence, Andover, or North Andover are welcome in this regional recovery resource center. 

The Recovery Resource Center will be staffed by representatives of key local and state agencies, the American Red Cross and Salvation Army and disaster relief organizations affiliated with Massachusetts Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). State agencies include the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Department of Children and Families (DCF), Department of Mental Health (DMH), Registry of Motor Vehicles, and Division of Insurance (DOI).

Ways to Help

Essex County Community Fund

On Monday, September 17, Governor Charlie Baker joined Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, Andover and North Andover Town Managers Andrew Flanagan and Andrew Maylor, officials from Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF), state agencies and nonprofit organizations to announce the establishment of a humanitarian relief fund to be named the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund at Essex County Community Foundation. The Fund will help serve the short and medium term needs of impacted residents, including housing, sustenance and support services.

Donations for the Sept. 13 fire victims are currently being made to the Lawrence Emergency Fund, a well-established ECCF fund opened in 2009 to respond to emergencies such as fires in the City of Lawrence, at

Once the new Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund is formally activated, the donations will be combined. Both funds will support the work of meeting the needs of people affected in the communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

American Red Cross - To donate, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit  To volunteer, visit

MSPCA - The MSPCA's Nevins Farm has been providing for displaced animals. Donations accepted at

Lawrence Senior Center (155 Haverhill St.)

  • Donations of non-perishable foods, including: fresh and dried fruits, granola bars, small juice boxes, animal crackers, food for infants, nuts and trail mixes, applesauce, pudding, etc.
  • Hand sanitizers, alcohol pads, socks, underwear for kids and adults, blankets, toiletries, feminine products, toilet paper, towels

Media Contact for Governor Baker Declares State of Emergency Regarding Incidents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito 

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and members of their administration are committed to making Massachusetts the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

Governor's Press Office 

Visit the Governor’s Press Office to learn about recent news from the administration, follow our happenings on social media, and for media contact information.

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency 

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency ensures the state is prepared to withstand, respond to and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters.

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