Cloudy Weather Report Ramallah, Palestine +4°C, Cloudy
Home | News |

Opinion: Still without answers, a stream of refugees copes in Massachusetts

In reality, his trek was closer to 1 mile. It seemed much longer, though, because of the extraordinary circumstances in which his family — and thousands of others — suddenly found themselves.

On Thursday, a still-unexplained gas leak touched off scores of explosions and fires that ripped through three Boston suburbs. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes, many of which are still under quarantine and in areas where multiple new gas leaks were reported Saturday.

This freak disaster and its chaotic aftermath have given rise to an unusual sight in modern-day America — a river of humanity, lugging only the belongings they can carry in overloaded wagons, roller bags, strollers, laundry hampers and black plastic garbage bags slung over their shoulders. They carried plants, dairy items, jugs of milk; one woman pulled a vacuum cleaner behind her.

The tableau of urban refugees is most vivid in Lawrence, a city where the Merrimack River, lined with acres of old brick textile mills, separates the haves (those in North Lawrence who have electricity) from the have-nots (those in South Lawrence who have no electricity and where homes are still off-limits).

The evacuations were not mandatory, and many people opted to stay in their neighborhoods despite the absence of electricity and gas. Those who left faced police blockades and could access their homes only by walking across the city’s grand bridges, which were built in another era. They returned to the bridge with their belongings, a scene reminiscent of those in a forced migration.

Their cars are often parked miles away, if not quite the 80 miles of little Emmanuel’s imagination. Emmanuel’s guess of being out of his home for 1,000 days may be extreme, but officials have not given residents a clear sense of when they can return. There is no curfew, and residents can come and go.

New gas leaks were reported Saturday, adding an extra layer of fear and confusion for those displaced. Their houses were still off-limits as utility crews continued to shut off gas meters house by house, accompanied by locksmiths. As of Saturday, 17,000 customers in the three towns affected — Lawrence, Andover and North Andover — were still without power.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Katharine Q. Seelye © 2018 The New York Times

'); }else{ document.write(''); fbAsyncIds.push('fwid8'); fbStatUrls.push(''); }} /* ]]> */


No tags for this article
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.

Related Articles

Pogba not as selfish as people think –Deschamps

France manager Didier Deschamps believes the outside world has the wrong image of Paul Pogba, who played a key role in leading Les Bleus to

NEWMAP, Anambra Govt move to rescue Federal High Court, others from erosion

The Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Project has begun the process of controlling gully erosion threatening the Federal High Court and other property at the

No regrets serving Nigeria under Jonathan – Sambo 

Simon Utebor, Yenagoa A former Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, has said that he has no regrets serving the country as its vice-president under the Goodluck Jonathan administration. Sambo

Most Watched Videos

View all posts

Amazing! This Pastor Claims to Heal by Kissing His Flocks - Video

Wonders shall never end.  This is a new one.... Ghanaian pastor based in South Africa claims to heal folks through kisses.  Yes, full blown tongue in

Nigeria vs Zambia 1-0 - (Video)

Watch the football match between Nigeria vs Zambia 1-0, shows  Extended Highlights from the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers on 7 October 2017

The Marriage Test Bucket - (Video)

Watch this hilarious spoof:  The Marriage Scanning Bucket.  Please leave a review below.

We Must Marry - (Video)

This video is pretty hilarious. Watch and laugh, then leave a review below.

What Type of Man Are You? (Must Watch Video)

This video describes in vivid terms, the types of men that exist.  Watch and review below.

Most Read News

View all posts

1000 contractors apply for Nigerian Railway Corporation’s projects

Lagos – The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has opened bids to pre-qualify contractors for its 2018 projects with over 1000 participating.RailMr Ben Iloanusi, the

Real Madrid star accepts 8 months prison sentence for tax fraud

- Modric accepts two-year prison sentence with an option of paying a £54,000 fine- The Croatia international has been charged with cases of fraud and

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson makes surprise return to Old Trafford

- 13-time Premier League winning manager Alex Ferguson will be at the stands when Man United clash against Wolves at Old Trafford- This will be

BREAKING: CBN Revokes Skye Bank’s Licence

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn the operating licence of Skye Bank. Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, announced the decision to withdraw the licence on Friday. According

Aircraft Will Be Flying Low From Now Till Oct 1 — But There's No Need To Panic

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has urged Nigerians not to panic when they see aircraft flying at low level between now and October 2018. According to

Adeosun: Stop parading yourself as “Mr. Integrity”, PDP tells Buhari

…Tasks Britain not to shield fallen Minister By Dirisu Yakubu ABUJA- The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Monday told President Muhammadu Buhari to stop parading himself as

Most Watched Movies