Yohanny Cespedes unpacks Oct. 3 in the hotel room with her daughters in Salem, N.H. Staff file photo by Angela Rowlings

Yohanny Cespedes and her young children have heat now, but they’ve discovered that  living in a hotel  presents other challenges. 

Cespedes —  one of the Lawrence area’s many gas-blast refugees  —  has been staying at a hotel in Salem, N.H., with her husband and three young daughters for more than two weeks while her home is still without gas. 

Cespedes said eating at restaurants every day has taken a toll on her and her family. 

“I’ve gained 10 pounds since this happened because I’m not cooking,” she said. 

She also said that her children are getting restless in the hotel room. “The baby wakes everybody up in the morning. What I plan to do is to be here as little as possible,” Cespedes said. 

Cespedes, who runs a small business out of her home, told the Herald that driving into Lawrence for work and bringing her children has become time-consuming. 

“It’s getting worse now because in the morning there is a lot of traffic. It used to take me 20 minutes to drive into Lawrence from my hotel but today it took me 48 minutes because of traffic and many streets are closed,” said Cespedes. 

She said there is a silver lining to the inconvenience as Columbia Gas has given her a debit card to pay for food and her family is out of the cold — unlike many families that are still in their homes and dealing with the onset of cold weather.

“We are nice and warm and I have hot water to take nice showers, so that is OK,” Cespedes said.