Merrimack Valley gas explosion

Sept. 13, 2018 gas explosions

The gas explosions that occurred in the late afternoon of Sept. 13, 2018 caused a series of fires that killed one person, and damaged or destroyed more than 130 buildings in the Merrimack Valley communities of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, MA. The explosions were caused by excessive pressure in natural gas lines owned by Columbia Gas, and forced residents out of more 8,600 homes. 

Read Bishop Devadhar's Sept. 13 message



Updated Feb. 11, 2019

NEAC  and AMEDAL provide assistance 

The New England Conference is worked with the Hispanic/Latino clergy association in Lawrence, the Asociacion Ministerial Evangelica del Area de Lawrence (AMEDAL), to identify and provide emergency resources to those who may not qualify for or are reluctant to access resources available through official channels. Pictured above: Milagro Grullón (left), secretary of the Board of AMEDAL and Pastor of Community Christian Fellowship-Lawrence, and Barbara Burnside, Conference Disaster Response & Mission Coordinator.

The Conference received a $10,000 grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to address  needs in the Merrimack Valley. With those funds and other donations, the Conference,  in partnership with our churches and AMEDAL, sought to help those without access to other emergency funding whether they are connected to a faith community or not. 

As of Feb. 11, 2019, $14, 500 in gift cards have been distributed. Read more

 We ask for continued prayers for those affected, and thank all churches and individuals who have donated to this effort.

Columbia Gas

Find more information and updates on Columbia Gas' restoration and repair efforts on the company's website

To learn more about the situation, here are community websites offering updates:


One of the best ways that you can help is to make a gift through UMCOR. While donations to the U.S. Advance are not designated to a specific region or event, UMCOR  is helping here in the Merrimack Valley, and with your generous assistance, will be there to meet future needs here  in New England, and across the nation. And remember, 100 percent of funds donated to UMCOR fund relief efforts (not administrative costs).

To help through UMCOR you can:

  • Donate to UMCOR Disaster Response, U.S. Advance #901670 (The U.S. Advance will also aid those facing Hurricane Florence and other U.S. disasters).
  • Donations to UMCOR can be sent to the New England Conference office, 411 Merrimack St., Methuen, MA 01844
  • Receive a special offering at your church

Create recovery materials

Here are the guidelines for creating kits:

Hygiene kits

School kits

Cleaning kits 

Find a list of drop-off sites: