South Lawrence gas leak

Lawrence police officers direct traffic along Andover Street on Friday morning after a reported major gas leak caused a lockdown and evacuation in South Lawrence.  

LAWRENCE — A claims center for residents and businesses effected by Friday's gas leak has been set up on South Broadway, officials said.

The pop-up claims center is located in the parking lot behind St. Patrick Church at 118 S. Broadway and will be open until 5 p.m.

"Residents and business impacted by the Friday's gas leak are eligible," wrote City Councilor David Abdoo in a tweet. 

Customers can also call 800-590-5571 to file a claim, Abdoo noted. 

The gas leak occurred Friday at 3:15 a.m. The majority of residents were allowed to go home at 3 p.m. Friday. 

However, 31 families, including 85 adults including six children, could not return home until Saturday afternoon. 

Columbia Gas president Mark Kempic, at a press conference Saturday afternoon, encouraged all residents to return home so their gas service could be re-lit. 

A stretch of South Broadway, including the Falls Bridge and a short distance beyond, was closed to traffic on Friday and Saturday.

All of South Broadway is now open. Columbia Gas is still working by Salem Street on the side of the road.

"Traffic is flowing," said police Chief Roy Vasque. 

City, state and Columbia Gas officials said a water contractor working in the area inadvertently turned off a gas valve, and punctured a gas main, leading to the leak. 

No fires or explosions occurred during the leak. 

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill. 

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