Lawrence Disaster Estimated at $800 Million and Counting

Lawrence Disaster Estimated at $800 Million and Counting

Milton J. Valencia | Boston Globe

The utility responsible for the Sept. 13 explosions and fires that rocked the Merrimack Valley estimated its potential financial costs on Thursday, and the money is big: more than $800 million.

Included in that amount are claims for personal injury and property losses. So are expenses related to the restoration effort, including up to $165 million to replace some 45 miles of damaged underground pipes in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover. The utility indicated it would seek a rate increase to recover that spending on gas lines.

In a quarterly financial filing Thursday, NiSource Inc., the parent company of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, said its costs could grow because its estimate does not include any fines or penalties the utility may incur, or payments to local businesses for lost revenue…(Read the full story)

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