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Merrimack Valley

April 20, 2013

Many commuters stymied in effort to get to work

Thousands of commuters stranded at home


C&J Bus Lines maintained its routes to Logan.

Many woke up yesterday morning and had to decide how — or if — to go to work, based on what they were hearing on the news.

“It’s pretty crazy,” said Peter Langlois of Derry, who works as an assistant administrator for a financial services firm in Medford. “We’re definitely monitoring it.”

Langlois said 13 of his company’s locations were closed and two people from his 10-person office were absent.

Despite the travel warnings, Langlois said, it was a surprisingly tough commute.

“It was heavier than (Thursday) for whatever reason.” he said.

Ross Webber of Derry works at Sovereign Bank in Boston. He was planning to take Boston Express into the city.

“Every morning this week, I’ve checked to see if there’s been something new, and there was obviously something new today,” he said. “When I learned (Boston Express) wouldn’t be stopping downtown, I just decided it would be better just to work at home,”

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation displayed a message to “Avoid Boston area” on Interstate 93 south yesterday.

Amtrak suspended service bwteen Providence, R.I., and Boston and halted the Downeaster in Exeter yesterday.

Haverhill’s two train stations, usually bustling during the morning and afternoon commutes, were empty yesterday. The same was true at other Merrimack Valley stops along the train line.

The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority was operating regular bus service.

The parking lot at the train station at Railroad Square, normally filled with vehicles left by commuter rail passengers, was empty throughout the morning, as was the lot at the train station on Railroad Avenue in Bradford.

About 11 a.m., several commuter trains idled at the Bradford station.

The word spread quickly.

“It was on television and radio stations and the Internet and I think people were aware of what was going on,” Haverhill Deputy police Chief Donald Thompson.

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