The worst snowstorm in Massachusetts history added 22 more inches to the two feet of snow already on the ground yesterday. Civil Defense officials said the situation is about to become critical.
The snowfall, which will continue at least through today and, in any event, start again Sunday, has shut down Logan Airport and sent most other public transportation--including the MBTA--into turmoil.
The most pressing problem is the tiring of snow crews and the breakdown of equipment which, up to now, has been operating at full efficiency. Wayland, Scituate, and Peabody reported critical shortages of equipment due to breakdowns, leaving side-streets impassable and many homes inaccessible to fire trucks ambulances.
An Associated Press count showed 27 storm-related deaths in eastern New England, most due to heart attacks brought on by over-exertion.
Small towns, especially, have been hard-hit by caved-in roofs and ripped power lines; at least a dozen communities have declared states of emergency and urgently requested state and federal aid.
Most major highways have remained open so far, but as sanding and plowing crews tire out, officials are urging that travel be undertaken only if absolutely necessary.