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MBTA Aims For Preemptive Action Against Frigid Temps

BOSTON (CBS) -- Bostonians were bundled up in layers on Wednesday while many officials in the city worked to prepare for the even stronger freeze that is coming.

The MBTA is also working to keep their equipment warm.

Trains are being stored underground in subway tunnels, teams are being strategically placed to fix broken rails, and crews are working overnight to check heat switches and third-rail heaters.

"We are cycling that equipment all night long to ensure that any issues that are identified with those vehicles are quickly resolved," explained MBTA Deputy General Manager Jeff Gonneville.

MBTA officials are also urging riders to keep an eye on their social media accounts for any potential cold weather delays over the next few days.

MBTA train travels through snow (WBZ-TV)

The Action for Boston Community Development organization (ABCD) provides heating assistance to low-income families.

They typically help 26,000 people annually with home heating assistance. This year, they have already helped about 18,000 people.

The weather has some families struggling before anticipated.

"In January, we have the cold. Then by that time, people who got benefits from us starting in November are running out of those benefits," said John Drew of the ABCD. "They're running now."

It is "crisis time," Drew added.


On Tuesday night, more than 850 people stayed in Boston shelters overnight, which is 98 over capacity.

"We've never turned people away in the winter. We have literally had people sleeping where you're standing, frankly, and obviously, it's crowded, it's warm, it's relatively safe," said Lyndia Downie, president and executive director of The Pine Street Inn. "We don't expect in the city to turn anybody away."

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