HELPING HANDS: National Guardsmen work in Lawrence last week to distribute space heaters to Merrimack Valley residents affected by the Sept. 13 gas explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. Faith Ninivaggi photo.

Price-gouging amid the disastrous fallout from the Merrimack Valley gas explosions is not acceptable.

Lawrence City Councilor Marc Laplante says he suspects that an Amazon retailer is profiteering off of much-needed portable camping showers in the wake of the explosions that have left thousands of households without hot water.

He said he noticed a 50 percent spike in the price of portable showers sold on Amazon after he had reached out to the electronic commerce company about the need for the product. In response, Laplante tweeted yesterday that it was “shameful” for them to profit off of a disaster.

If there is indeed price-gouging happening, all relevant state and federal resources must be brought to bear to end it and the retailer must be held to account. Now is the time for government protections for the victims in the Merrimack Valley.