MBTA Anticipates ‘Significant’ Delays on Haverhill Commuter Rail During Weekend Storm

City residents relying on the MBTA’s Haverhill commuter rail line this weekend are being advised to pack their patience. Due to the heavy rain and sustained gale force winds predicted to hit the Merrimack Valley, the MBTA is anticipating “significant” local delays.

The coastal Rockport/Newburyport commuter rail line is also expected to experience service interruptions.

The MBTA encourages riders to consider alternate methods of transportation for Friday’s evening commute as the storm bears down on the Valley.

Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials are also closely monitoring the storm, which could bring snow and ice come Saturday morning.

“Our personnel are closely monitoring the forecast and we know this is expected to be a high impact and long duration coastal storm with the possibility of flooding and strong winds,” Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said.

The best way to stay safe on the roads is to drive defensively, said Gulliver. “We encourage members of the public to make safe and smart decisions, such as not driving through flood waters, never driving over or near downed power lines, and reducing speeds when there is low visibility due to heavy rain and snow,” the MassDOT official said.

Haverhill Public Schools operated on a regular schedule Friday, while Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School closed due to trees down along bus routes.

As of Friday morning, National Grid reported that approximately 2,500 customers across Essex County were without power.