Haverhill, Region Begin Cleanup After Storm

Massachusetts State Police this morning used a roll over crash on I-290 near Worcester to demonstrate highways remain dangerous.

As the Blizzard of 2015 moves offshore, Merrimack Valley communities begin the clean with yet another blast of cold air.

As a statewide travel ban was lifted at 12 a.m. today, commuters and others will encounter cleared, but snow covered, local streets with slippery driving conditions and see signs of black pavement on some highways. Observers also reported lighter than usual traffic early this morning, and offer morning commuters advice to carry a snow shovel in their vehicles as a precaution.

Temperatures today range between 20 and 25 degrees, according to WHAV meterologist Steve Lavoie.

Remnants of the snowstorm continue to affect coastal communities where flood advisories remain in effect. Local snowfall reports place Methuen at 31.5 inches, Atkinson, N.H., 26 inches, and West Hampstead, N.H., 21 inches. The highest snow amounts were reported to the west, with as much as 36 inches of snowfall in Lunenburg.

Public schools in Haverhill and other local communities remain closed today for a second day as a result of the blizzard. Methuen City Hall, also known as the Searles Building, Pleasant Street, is closed Wednesday. A delayed opening at Plaistow Town Hall will be at noon, today.

Much of the Merrimack Valley remained unaffected by power outages since late Tuesday morning. No outages were reported in Haverhill or Methuen by National Grid. Only a handful of electricity customers in Andover and North Andover were affected Tuesday.

A so-called “extreme snow emergency” declared by Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini, including a parking ban from city streets, remains in effect until 6 p.m., Wednesday. In his latest “Minute With The Mayor” address, Fiorentini asked inner city residents to share a driveway with a neighbor. According to Fiorentini, a tour of the lower Acre and Mount Washington areas on Tuesday found “estimated 95 percent compliance” and thanked residents, via Facebook, for “a great job under very trying circumstances.”

During the street parking ban, off street parking has been made available at municipal lots, including those at City Hall, the Haverhill Public Library, all School parking lots, Somebody Cares New England, located at 358 Washington Street, All Saints Church, 120 Bellevue Ave., the MVRTA Garage and the Goecke Parking Deck.

A similar parking ban in Methuen, to aid snow removal efforts there, will remain in effect until 10 a.m., Sunday, February 1.

Trash and recyling pickup scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in Haverhill has been rescheduled to Thursday and Friday. Thursday and Friday’s scheduled pickup are both moved to Saturday.

An emergency shelter made available at the Haverhill Citizens Center, 10 Welcome Street, did not have to be utilized Tuesday night, according to Haverhill Police. For a second consecutive day, the blizzard and its aftermath resulted in no reported arrests by Haverhill Police on Tuesday. Meanwhile, district and superior courts in Essex County and across eastern and central Massachusetts are closed Wednesday.