By Bill Kirk
---- — Thousands of residents across the Merrimack Valley woke up to darkness this morning, with just the light of the full moon occasionally peaking out from behind the clouds providing illumination for early-morning risers.
For public school students in Andover, North Andover, Methuen and Lawrence, however, the darkness was a welcome sign, as it meant no school for the second day in a row due to the tempest that slammed the area in the form of Superstorm Sandy.
Trees and tree limbs fell across powerlines and roadways throughout the region, blocking passage for many commuters this morning.
Public safety officials were waiting for National Grid crews to show up to begin the process of clean-up.
In North Andover, police reported that school was canceled for the day because power is out to the high school, among other schools in town. Power is out along Route 125 from the Haffner's gas station to the Haverhill line, police said. In all, 2,344 customers are still in the dark this morning in North Andover. A number of roads are also closed, including Johnson, Bradford and Barker streets.
In Andover, the damage isn't quite as widespread but the impact is just as severe. Nearly 4,000 customers are still powerless this morning, mostly concentrated along River Road, where a big tree fell across power lines yesterday, as well as on Greenwood and Haverhill streets. Power is also out to High and Elm streets. Schools are closed again today in Andover.
There was some minor flooding reported in Andover due to clogged storm drains, but Public Works crews were out in force yesterday and throughout the night to clear them as fast as they were reported.
In Haverhill, there are a couple of trees and lines down, but nothing serious, police said. School is not closed. However, nearly 6,000 customers were still without power this morning.
In Methuen, police were compiling a complete list of road closures and transmission line troubles this morning. A complete list will be available in about an hour. School is closed in Methuen. Nearly 5,000 customers are still without power as of 7 this morning.
In Salem, N.H., 12 intersections have barricades up, although there are no official road closures in town. Trees and powerlines are down throughout town.
In Lawrence, 3,785 people are still without power. There are a number of roads blocked and wires down there as well.