WAKEFIELD — Not too many DPW employees were on the job today, sent home by administrators who saw serious fatigue setting in.

THIS MORNINGSIDE ROAD home is fenced in by a white wall of snow. (Sandy Panico Photo)

THIS MORNINGSIDE ROAD home is fenced in by a white wall of snow. (Sandy Panico Photo)

As the town again dug out from more than a foot of snow yesterday and overnight, most members of the department logged so many hours it was proving a potential hazard to keep them working. So at 7 a.m. all but a handful were told to go home and get rest. Sidewalk crews will report back at 10 tonight. The Item was told around 7:45 a.m. that in the past 55 hours, most DPW members worked 49 of them. Others — though a small minority — will have worked 57 of the past 63 hours by the end of today.

Officially, Wakefield received a little over 17 inches of snow from the three day storm that began Saturday and ended with a burst between midnight and 2 a.m. today. Schools were cancelled again Tuesday, the sixth snow day of the 2014-15 academic year. Yesterday, Supt. of Schools Dr. Stephen Zrike said officials are not yet in the position of having to extend the school year, since there re still a few as yet unused snow days to spare.

DPW Director Richard Stinson applauded the yeoman’s effort of those in the department, restating that they’ve done a great job in unprecedented circumstances. In the past 17 days, Wakefield has seen 73 inches of snow fall. So far during this winter season, the total is 82 inches, just under seven feet.

Private contractors were expected to be out today clearing schools.

Stinson explained that the fact there were very few cars and trucks on the road yesterday certainly helped with public way snow removal. However, around 8:30 or 9 last night, many residents were in the middle of shoveling out their driveways and some had moved their vehicles into the street, making plowing problematic.

With the extremely limited staff today, and the town’s salt supply dwindling, Stinson said he and others decided to let the snow that fell early this morning melt off hilly streets rather than send out DPW crews.

Stinson said, “The snow banks are high and difficult to see over and around. The streets are narrower. You can only put so much snow there. We are asking that people continue to clear out hydrants and catch basins, and to please watch the weight on their roofs. When you’re driving, please do so defensively, slowing down at street corners. Plow drivers have been out there for a long time and they may not be as aware of their surroundings because they are exhausted. This has been a unique winter. And we have a possibility for more snow Saturday into Sunday. It hope (the storms) head away from us, but you just don’t know.”

Snow-choked New England braced for more winter grief later in the week as people dug out from as much as two feet of snow Tuesday. Thousands of angry Boston commuters stranded by a transit shutdown scrambled to find other ways to get to work.

As people struggled to find places to put the latest snow, and officials considered dumping it by the truckload into the ocean, forecasters warned that yet more snow was possible Thursday and again over the weekend.

Here’s how the region is coping:


Boston-area subways, trolleys and commuter rail trains ground to a halt at 7 p.m. Monday and remained idle Tuesday, with only limited bus service continuing. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said it needed the break to clear snow and ice from tracks and to assess equipment damaged by the spate of storms.

“If they’re not going to be operating well, then they shouldn’t be operating at all,” said Joseph Dell’Erario, 24, as he took one of the last trains home to Somerville before the shutdown Monday night.

Boston hospitals set up sleeping areas for workers and police were offering rides to work for doctors and nurses.

Hundreds of flights were canceled at New England airports. Officials at Boston’s Logan International Airport said they hoped normal passenger service would resume by midday Tuesday.


A 60-year-old man who had just finished work at a supermarket bakery in Medford was struck in a parking lot by a private snow plowing truck Monday and died after being taken to a hospital, authorities said. Police interviewed the driver of the snow plow but no charges were immediately filed in the death of Cesar Moya.


Massachusetts environmental officials gave cities and towns with no place else to put accumulating snow the green light to dump some into the ocean or other bodies of water if necessary.

The Department of Environmental Protection on Monday cited the challenges involved in getting rid of the historic snowfalls. Local communities may seek permission to take emergency steps that allow disposal of snow into open water, which is normally prohibited. Officials also were using giant melters to liquefy snow.


Two high-profile Massachusetts trials have been further delayed by the snow. State court officials said testimony in the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez would not resume until Wednesday. Jury selection for the federal trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, also was called off on Tuesday.


Footprints in the snow led to the suspect in a robbery of a bar in Worcester.

An employee of the Three G’s Sports Bar told police he was putting money in a bag when a man jumped over the counter, pushed him to the ground, and grabbed the bag containing an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect fled out the back door, but police tracked him through the snow to a nearby apartment and made the arrest.


A Massachusetts state trooper helped deliver a baby after the mother went into labor on the way to the hospital.

The couple was driving to the hospital at about 2:40 a.m. Tuesday just hours after a huge snowstorm when it became apparent that the birth was imminent. The father stopped the car and called 911. When he noticed a cruiser approaching, he flashed the lights of his sport utility vehicle to attract the trooper’s attention.

Trooper Patrick Devin assisted in the birth and wrapped the baby boy in a blanket.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.